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Re: Gold's hypothesis



I seem to recall Gold's hypothesis being presented in Science and in an article
in Scientific American about 12 years or more ago. I think NOVA or some other
science type show did a program of the drilling project a few years ago. As
far as I know, The hypothesis has been uniformly rejected by petroleum
geologists and geochemists as not making any sense chemically nor geologically.
This against considerable evidence for the organic origin of hydrocarbons, 
which, although not completely understood, is a process that is well enough
studied to know that it can work. I don't remember the details of Gold's
hypothesis to provide detailed criticism without returning to the original
papers, but I recall my impression that it relied on slight circumstatial
evidence concerning the occurrence of hydrocarbons, I believe it was a high
level of correlation between oil fields and fault systems, and a number of 
unsupportable assumptions about deep earth processes. Fractured igneous rocks
can indeed provide traps for oil and natural gas; but the hydrocarbons 
originated elsewhere and migrated there. It would be virtually impossible to
rule out the possiblity that hydrocarbons in fractures within igneous rocks
anywhere on Earth had migrated there from sedimentary source rocks.
GFEngelmann
engelman@cwis.unomaha.edu