Assessing thermal maturity through a multi-proxy approach: A case study from the permian faraghan formation (zagros basin, Southwest Iran)

Amalia Spina*, Simonetta Cirilli, Andrea Sorci, Andrea Schito, Geoff Clayton, Sveva Corrado, Paulo Fernandes, Francesca Galasso, Giovanni Montesi, Zelia Pereira, Mehrab Rashidi, Roberto Rettori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This study focuses on the thermal maturity of Permian deposits from the Zagros Basin, Southwest Iran, employing both optical methods (Thermal Alteration Index, Palynomorph Darkness Index, Vitrinite Reflectance, UV Fluorescence) and geochemical analyses of organic matter (Rock Eval Pyrolysis and MicroRaman spectroscopy) applied to the Faraghan Formation along two investigated Darreh Yas and Kuh e Faraghan surface sections. Furthermore, an integrated palyno-facies and lithofacies analysis was carried out in order to integrate the few studies on the deposi-tional environment. The Faraghan Formation, which is widely distributed in the Zagros area, gen-erally consists of shale intercalated with sandstones and pebble conglomerates in the lower part, followed by a succession of sandstone, siltstone and shaly intercalations and with carbonate levels at the top. The integrated palynofacies and lithofacies data confirm a coastal depositional setting evolving upwards to a shallow marine carbonate environment upwards. Rock Eval Pyrolysis and Vitrinite Reflectance analysis showed that the organic matter from samples of the Darreh Yas and Kuh e Faraghan sections fall in the mature to postmature range with respect to the oil to gas generation window, restricting the thermal maturity range proposed by previous authors. Similar results were obtained with MicroRaman spectroscopy and optical analysis such as Thermal Alteration Index and UV Fluorescence. Palynomorph Darkness Index values were compared with Rock Eval Pyrolysis and vitrinite reflectance values and discussed for the first time in the late stage of oil gen-eration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number484
Number of pages28
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Early online date23 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by PRIN (2017RX9XXXY-CIRILLI), by Fondo Ricerca di Base Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia (SPIRICBAS2018-SPINA), by the project Paleontological Studies and Biozonation of Paleozoic Sediments in Central Iran and Zagros Basins (coordinator R. Rettori) and MIUR grants-SORCI to PhD School of Science and Technology for Physics and Geology (XXXIV Cycle), University of Perugia; Project Paleontological Studies and Biozo-nation of Paleozoic Sediments in Central Iran and Zagros Basins (RETTORI).

Acknowledgments: Mansour Ghorbani (Arianzamin Pars Geological Centre) is deeply thanked for the field activity and support in each step of this research. The authors would like to thank NIOC and Arianzamin for logistical support and unlimited access to analytical facilities.


  • Faraghan Formation
  • Organic matter
  • Palynofacies
  • Permian
  • SW Iran
  • Thermal maturity
  • Zagros Basin


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