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contact

1. n. [Geology]

The interface, also called fluid contact, that separates fluids of different densities in a reservoir. Horizontal contacts are usually assumed, although tilted contacts occur in some reservoirs. The contact between fluids is usually gradual rather than sharp, forming a transition zone of mixed fluid. A mixed-fluid reservoir will stratify according to fluid density, with gas at the top, oil in the middle, and water below. Production of fluids often perturbs the fluid contacts in a reservoir.

Synonyms: fluid contact

See: condensategas-oil contactgas-water contactlithologic contactoil-water contactstratified flowtransition zonewet gas

Schematic diagrams of various gas, oil and water contacts.

2. n. [Geology]

The surface, also called lithologic contact, that separates rock bodies of different lithologies, or rock types. A contact can be conformable or unconformable depending upon the types of rock, their relative ages and their attitudes.

Synonyms: lithologic contact

See: attitudehorizonlithologyunconformity

Lithologic contact of dike and gneiss
Lithologic contact of dike and gneiss.

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