EXPLORING MAIGANGA COAL DEPOSIT’S GEOCHEMICAL AND PALYNOFACIES ASPECTS IN UPPER BENUE TROUGH

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Abstract:

This research encompasses geochemical, palynological, and palynofacies investigations conducted on samples extracted from 24 boreholes that intersect the Gombe Formation in the vicinity of the Maiganga coal mine. The primary objectives of the study were to characterize microfloral compositions, determine the formation’s age, paleoclimate, paleoenvironment, and biozonation, as well as assess the petroleum generation potential of the Formation. The standard maceration technique and Rock Eval 6 method were employed for palynological/palynofacies and organic geochemical analyses, respectively. The analyzed borehole samples exhibited a substantial abundance of palynomorphs, enabling insightful deductions regarding formation age, paleoclimate, and paleoenvironment. Prominent pollen and spore types identified in the study area included Proteacidites sigalii, Retidiporites magdalensis, Monoporites annulatus, Cingulastisporites ornatus, Rugulatisporites caperatus, Scabratriporites annellus, Proteacidites longispinosis, Distaverrusporites simplex, and Foveotrilete margaritae. These marker species collectively indicate a Maastrichtian age for the surveyed sections. Palynomacerals of Types I, II, and III were prevalent, accompanied by lesser occurrences of Type IV and Amorphous Organic Matter (AOM). Analysis of these palynofacies facilitated inferences about the paleoclimate and paleoenvironment, leading to the subdivision of the sections into two palyzones: the Proteacidites sigalii – Echitriporites trianguliformis zone and the Cyathidites spp-Laevigatosporites haardtii zone. The scrutinized palynoforms suggested that the study sections represented swamp and floodplain settings, with the intercalated coal seams indicating swampy environments under anoxic conditions. The inferred paleoclimatic conditions align with the Late Cretaceous Palmae province, based on the analyzed palynomorphs. Geochemical analyses revealed organic-rich samples containing kerogen Types II and III, albeit exhibiting thermal immaturity according to low Tmax values. Specifically, results from boreholes BA-7 and BA-16 indicated Type II kerogen, while borehole BA-17 contained Type III kerogen. This investigation also highlighted the potential of samples, particularly from boreholes BA-7 and BA-16, to serve as promising source rocks for petroleum and gas generation. Assessment of Rock Eval Tmax data indicated thermal immaturity across all three boreholes, consistent with the immaturity status of contemporaneous formations in other parts of the Benue Trough. Such formations may share depth-related connections or have experienced comparable geothermal gradients to those within the Gombe Formation.

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