1. n. [Geology]
The state of a source rock with respect to its ability to generate oil or gas. As a source rock begins to mature, it generates gas. As an oil-prone source rock matures, the generation of heavy oils is succeeded by medium and light oils. Above a temperature of approximately 100 degC [212 degF], only dry gas is generated, and incipient metamorphism is imminent. The maturity of a source rock reflects the ambient pressure and temperature as well as the duration of conditions favorable for hydrocarbon generation.
See: generation, hydrocarbon, immature, metamorphism, natural gas, oil-prone, overmature, petroleum, postmature, pyrolysis, source rock, vitrinite, vitrinite reflectance