Thermal history of the Carboniferous strata in the northern part of the Intra-Sudetic Basin (SW Poland): A combined Raman spectroscopy and organic petrography study

Dariusz Botor, Tomasz Toboła, Marta Waliczek


Raman spectroscopy and vitrinite reflectance measurements of dispersed organic matter from Carboniferous shales in boreholes in the northern part of the Intra-Sudetic Basin were used for thermal history reconstruction. Microscopic investigations have shown that the organic matter is dominated by the vitrinite maceral group. In analysed samples, organic matter shows a varied degree of thermal alteration determined by the mean random vitrinite reflectance (VRo) ranging from 0.72% to 3.80%. Mean apparent maximum vitrinite reflectance (R’max) values reached 4.98%. The full width at half maximum of D1 and G bands in Raman spectra are well-correlated with mean VRo and R’max. Thermal maturity in the boreholes shows a regular increase with depth. Geological data combined with Raman spectroscopy and mean vitrinite reflectance results indicate that the analysed Carboniferous strata reached maximum paleotemperatures from c. 110 to c. 265°C. The regional paleogeothermal gradient in the late Paleozoic was c. 80°C/km. The Variscan heating event presumably caused a major coalification process of organic matter. The Carboniferous–Permian magmatic activity must have contributed to high heat flow, adding to the effect of sedimentary burial on the thermal maturity.


Raman spectroscopy; Vitrinite reflectance; Dispersed organic matter; Coalification; Lower Silesia Coal District; Bohemian Massif

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