Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Michelle A. Kominz

Second Advisor

Dr. Dave A. Barnes

Third Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison III


Michigan, Basin, Geodynamic, Maturation, Heat

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Thermal cooling, crustal convection, high temperature fluid advection, and 1.0 Km of eroded overburden are required to explain thermal maturation observations in the Michigan Basin. Observed tectonic subsidence in central Michigan follows an exponential decay indicative of thermal cooling following an anomalous heating event. Crustal convection is responsible for episodes of rapid subsidence coincident with the late Paleozoic Appalachian orogeny. Fluid advection through dilated faults reactivated by the Alleghanian orogeny brought hot fluids (as much as 255⁰ C) to the surface and impacted thermal maturation of organic matter in sediments. Models require 1.0 Km of eroded overburden to model thermal conditions and porosities in the basin. Thermal maturation data (1149 samples, in 32 formations/groups, from 128 wells) show irregular distribution directly above and adjacent to the Midcontinent rift. Results of short (