Earth and Ecosystem Science graduate student Adedoyin Adeyilola conducts an extensive study of fossil fuel in the Michigan Basin, a large-scale geological depression in the center of the Lower Peninsula. The basin has not been extensively studied, but Adeyilola strives to bridge the gap that exists in our understanding of the basin’s properties and its fuel production patterns. With an increasing need for fuel to power our cars, planes, homes, and industries, it is vital to understand the Michigan Basin as it is one of the major gas-producing formations in Michigan.
Adeyilola’s interdisciplinary study merges geochemical, geophysical, and geomechanical analyses. The geochemical aspect examines the chemical compounds that make up the shale reservoir in the basin, while the geophysical side examines the physical characteristics of the rock. The geomechanical analysis investigates the mechanics of the rock, or the movement of gas in the shale. Together these analyses help geologists understand the behavior of the fuel in the rock and the types of rock storing it.
To conduct his analysis, he gathers data from the Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education, which houses all geologic data for oil and gas exploration within the Michigan Basin. Adeyilola runs an analysis on the data samples to understand the chemical, physical, and mechanical components of the rock. This information helps determine the occurrence, quantity, and location of fossil fuel in the Michigan Basin.
Despite the difficulties of researching an uncharted area with limited materials to reference, Adeyilola has made great strides, receiving multiple grants from professional societies to support his research. Using what he learned as a petroleum geologist in Nigeria for over 4 years, he hopes to increase our understanding of oil and gas generation in the Michigan Basin to help devise strategies to produce them efficiently.