ASTM D7708 - 11

    Standard Test Method for Microscopical Determination of the Reflectance of Vitrinite Dispersed in Sedimentary Rocks

    Active Standard ASTM D7708 | Developed by Subcommittee: D05.28

    Book of Standards Volume: 05.06


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    ASTM D7708

    Significance and Use

    The mean reflectance of the vitrinite maceral in sedimentary rocks as determined by this test method is used as an indicator of thermal maturity, that is, the progressive geochemical alteration of dispersed organic material experienced during diagenesis, catagenesis, and metagenesis. In the case of hydrocarbon source rocks, three major categories of thermal maturity are defined by vitrinite reflectance: immature (Roran 0.5%), mature (Roran 0.5-1.35%), and overmature (Roran 1.35%) with respect to the generation of liquid hydrocarbons. Thermal maturity as determined by the reflectance of vitrinite dispersed in sedimentary rocks is similar to the rank classification of coals as presented in Classification D388 and measured similarly to the reflectance of vitrinite in coal as presented in Test Method D2798. The mean reflectance of the vitrinite maceral in sedimentary rocks correlates with geochemically determined parameters of thermal maturity and can be used to characterize thermal maturation history, to calibrate burial history models, and to better understand the processes of hydrocarbon generation, migration, and accumulation in conventional and unconventional petroleum systems.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the microscopical determination of the reflectance measured in oil of polished surfaces of vitrinite dispersed in sedimentary rocks. This test method can also be used to determine the reflectance of macerals other than vitrinite dispersed in sedimentary rocks.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D121 Terminology of Coal and Coke

    D388 Classification of Coals by Rank

    D2797 Practice for Preparing Coal Samples for Microscopical Analysis by Reflected Light

    D2798 Test Method for Microscopical Determination of the Vitrinite Reflectance of Coal


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.15 (Mineral materials and products)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15101601(Coal)


    DOI: 10.1520/D7708-11

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