Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Natural Hydrogen System in Western Australia?

Version 1 : Received: 27 October 2020 / Approved: 28 October 2020 / Online: 28 October 2020 (11:57:31 CET)

How to cite: Rezaee, R. Natural Hydrogen System in Western Australia?. Preprints 2020, 2020100589. Rezaee, R. Natural Hydrogen System in Western Australia?. Preprints 2020, 2020100589.


There is a marked momentum towards the use of clean hydrogen energy as an alternative for fossil fuels. Renewable energies such as solar and wind are being used to generate hydrogen from the water hydrolysis process. Indeed, this approach stores renewable energies in the form of combustible hydrogen for other energy uses. The other alternative that could be economically more cost-effective at the current technology stage is to explore the natural “Hydrogen System” where the natural hydrogen is generated and accumulated within the earth system, the same that stands for a “Petroleum System”. The Discovery of a large accumulation of relatively pure natural hydrogen (H2) in Mali has triggered the opportunity of searching for natural hydrogen accumulations in other countries. The generation of hydrogen from a circular depression in Mali and some other countries is linked to the presence of geologically very old iron-rich basement rocks. Solid-liquid redox reactions between iron-rich minerals and groundwater that split water are a possible source of H2 in deep basement rocks. It is believed that the hydrogen degassing may be detected by surface topographic circular to sub-circular shallow depressions. Chemical processes such as dissolution by hydrogen are considered to play the main role in the formation of the circular depressions through preferential vertical hydrogen migration channel. Archean iron-rich Yilgarn Craton that covers a vast area of Western Australia (WA) contains abundant iron-rich mafic-ultramafic rocks. The craton reveals many surficial circular depressions visible through satellite images. The area has abundant fault systems and is blanketed with Eocene sedimentary rocks containing high-quality reservoir rocks. All these characteristics seem to provide most of the required elements, such as hydrogen source, migration pathway, and reservoir rock for a “Hydrogen System” in this area.


Natural Hydrogen System; circular depressions; Archean iron-rich Craton; Western Australia


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

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