Abstract by Alex Washburn

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Alex Washburn



Degree Level



Samuel Hudson
David Selby

Abstract Infomation


Geological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Sam Hudson


Constraining Maikop source rock stratigraphy, deposition, and timing using chemostratigraphy of redox-sensitive metals and Re-Os geochronology


The Oligocene-Miocene Maikop Series in the South Caspian and Kura Basins is a key petroleum source rock for both offshore and onshore petroleum development in Azerbaijan. The Maikop is a thick (up to 3 km) succession of silty mudstones containing up to 15% total organic carbon (TOC), but is lacking in diagnostic microfaunal assemblages useful for dating and stratigraphy. It is thought that Maikop deposition began in the late Eocene to early Oligocene prior to the restriction of the Paratethys Sea, an ancient epicontinental sea of which the Kura and South Caspian Basins were a part. Initial isolation of the Paratethys Sea was periodic, as reflected in the deposition of discreet, thin, organic-rich intervals of black shale in the Kura Basin and the departure of restricted sea depositional Os concentrations from open ocean abundances. In this study, samples were taken from the organic-rich intervals and analyzed for redox-sensitive trace elements and Re-Os isotopes for geochronology. Analysis of these elements will allow for stratigraphic constraint of the onshore Maikop Series and simultaneous development of intervals with higher TOC deposited in reducing waters.