Not only are rift basins the foundation for much of the geologic history of the earth, but they also are very attractive areas for hydrocarbon accumulations. Klemme stated that this geographic area has provided significant hydrocarbon reserves: "By area, these basins represent slightly over 5% of the world's basins (50% productive). However, high recovery has resulted, as they contain 10% of the world's present reserves (12% of the oil reserves and 4% of the gas reserves)."
The rift basins discussed in this volume are only a few of the productive and, more importantly, potentially productive rift basins in the world. The term "rift" was coined by Gregory (1896) for the graben that now bears his name in the Kenyan portion of the East African rift system. The study of geology of rift basins began in the Rhine graben. The discovery of hydrocarbons in rift basins about the turn of the century provided new motivation for understanding these basins.
This publication was initiated by the AAPG Publications Committee in 1985 and contributors were invited to write. AAPG designed their "World Petroleum Basins" series and sought to publish the definitive volume on each of several basin types. In this volume, "Interior Rift Basins," a detailed, 3-paper overview was written about the Suez Rift basin as representative of interior rift basins. The key papers were followed by less detailed reviews of three other selected interior basins:
Pripyat and Dnieper-Donets Basins
Reconcavo Basin, Brazil
Albuquerque Basin Segment of the Rio Grande Rift
Contributors undertook to provide useful geologic information on the regional setting, stratigraphy, structure, tectonics, basin evolution, and oil and gas systems of these basins.
The goal was to develop a better understanding of the basin-forming, basin-filling, and basin-modifying processes that control hydrocarbon plays and resultant oil and gas fields in this class of basin.
The volumes in the AAPG Basin Series include:
Divergent/Passive Margin Basins (AAPG Memoir 48)
- Interior/Cratonic Basins (AAPG Memoir 51)
- Active Margin Basins (AAPG Memoir 52)
Foreland Basins and Foldbelts (AAPG Memoir 55)
Interior Rift Basins (AAPG Memoir 59)
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