Vitrinite reflectance

BGS Datasets

Key information

Great Britain
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Supporting documents

Vitrinite reflectance is used to assess the thermal maturation of a hydrocarbon source rock.

Vitrinite is a maceral — microscopic woody tissue, such as stems, bark, root and twigs — that is formed through the thermal alteration of lignin and cellulose in plant cell walls. Rocks buried at depth are subject to higher temperatures and, as this increases, vitrinite is altered through a process known as aromatisation, which increases its reflective properties.

Vitrinite reflectance data map of the UK
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Vitrinite reflectance data map of the UK. BGS © UKRI – Contains OS data © Crown copyright 2020.

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