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High-resolution analysis of the physicochemical characteristics of sandstone media at the lithofacies scale

Linsel, Adrian ; Wiesler, Sebastian ; Hornung, Jens ; Hinderer, Matthias (2021)
High-resolution analysis of the physicochemical characteristics of sandstone media at the lithofacies scale.
In: Solid Earth, 2020, 11 (4)
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00019263
Article, Secondary publication, Publisher's Version

Copyright Information: CC BY 4.0 International - Creative Commons, Attribution.

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Item Type: Article
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: High-resolution analysis of the physicochemical characteristics of sandstone media at the lithofacies scale
Language: English
Date: 2021
Year of primary publication: 2020
Publisher: Copernicus
Journal or Publication Title: Solid Earth
Volume of the journal: 11
Issue Number: 4
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00019263
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication via sponsored Golden Open Access

The prediction of physicochemical rock properties in subsurface models regularly suffers from uncertainty observed at the submeter scale. Although at this scale – which is commonly termed the lithofacies scale – the physicochemical variability plays a critical role for various types of subsurface utilization, its dependence on syndepositional and postdepositional processes is still subject to investigation.

The impact of syndepositional and postdepositional geological processes, including depositional dynamics, diagenetic compaction and chemical mass transfer, onto the spatial distribution of physicochemical properties in siliciclastic media at the lithofacies scale is investigated in this study. We propose a new workflow using two cubic rock samples where eight representative geochemical, thermophysical, elastic and hydraulic properties are measured on the cubes' faces and on samples taken from the inside. The scalar fields of the properties are then constructed by means of spatial interpolation. The rock cubes represent the structurally most homogeneous and most heterogeneous lithofacies types observed in a Permian lacustrine-deltaic formation that deposited in an intermontane basin. The spatiotemporal controlling factors are identified by exploratory data analysis and geostatistical modeling in combination with thin section and environmental scanning electron microscopy analyses.

Sedimentary structures are well preserved in the spatial patterns of the negatively correlated permeability and mass fraction of Fe2O3. The Fe-rich mud fraction, which builds large amounts of the intergranular rock matrix and of the pseudomatrix, has a degrading effect on the hydraulic properties. This relationship is underlined by a zonal anisotropy that is connected to the observed stratification. Feldspar alteration produced secondary pore space that is filled with authigenic products, including illite, kaolinite and opaque phases. The local enrichment of clay minerals implies a nonpervasive alteration process that is expressed by the network-like spatial patterns of the positively correlated mass fractions of Al2O3 and K2O. Those patterns are spatially decoupled from primary sedimentary structures. The elastic properties, namely P-wave and S-wave velocity, indicate a weak anisotropy that is not strictly perpendicularly oriented to the sedimentary structures.

The multifarious patterns observed in this study emphasize the importance of high-resolution sampling in order to properly model the variability present in a lithofacies-scale system. Following this, the physicochemical variability observed at the lithofacies scale might nearly cover the global variability in a formation. Hence, if the local variability is not considered in full-field projects – where the sampling density is usually low – statistical correlations and, thus, conclusions about causal relationships among physicochemical properties might be feigned inadvertently.

Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-192630
Classification DDC: 500 Science and mathematics > 550 Earth sciences and geology
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Earth Science
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2021 07:22
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 07:23
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/19263
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