Palynofacies involves examination of the proportions, size, shape and affinities of the kerogen material.
Generation of hydrocarbons from organic matter occurs with increased maturity of the source rock as it is heated during burial. This heating also alters the colour of the palynomorphs, from colourless through to orange, brown, and then black. When calibrated against vitrinite reflectance data, spore colour can provide a useful tool for determining thermal maturity.
Analysis of the types of organic matter present allows prediction of the type of hydrocarbons generated.