Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 71–81 | Cite as

Experimental deep burial, fabric-selective dissolution in Pennsylvanian phylloid algal limestones

  • William C. Dawson
  • Albert V. Carozzi
Special Papers


Secondary fabric-selective porosity was produced experimentally in mineralogically stabilized (100% low Mg-calcite), Pennsylvanian phylloid algal limestones. Plastic-jacketed cylindrical specimens of initially low-permeability phylloid algal biocalcarenites were subjected to pressures simulating burial at 12,000 feet (3,660 m) in a specially designed triaxial stress apparatus which permitted circulation of weakly acidic (pH 6) pore fluid (CO2-enriched distilled water) under constant pressure and temperature (75°F:24°C). Petrographic analysis revealed that a series of systematic experiments produced algal moldic porosity by selective dissolution of coarse crystalline, low-Mg calcite, inter- and intraparticle cements and neomorphosed phylloid algae. Experimental dissolution was initiated along inter- and intracrystalline pores (crystal boundaries and cleavage planes) and stylolites. Moldic porosity formed in early stages of experiments, when rates of circulation were slowest; prolonged experimentation and increased circulation rates promoted the development of nonfabric selective pores (vugs and channels). Experimentally-created pore systems are nearly identical to naturally-occurring porosity within phylloid algal limestone hydrocarbon reservoirs of the Four Corners area, U.S.A.

These experimental results offer an alternative explanation for the genesis of moldic porosity in limestones. That is, local variations in texture (e.g., intraparticle permeability), rather than mineralogical differences, appear to have controlled experimental fabric-selective dissolution.


Diagenesis Microfacies PENNSYLVANIAN Fluid Circulation Secondary Porosity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. BATHURST, R. G. C., 1980, Deep crustal diagenesis in limestones: Revista del Instituto de Investi≈aciones Geologicas, Universidad de Barcelona, v. 34, p. 89100.Google Scholar
  2. BAUMANN, J., BUHMANN, D, DREYBRODT, W. and SCHULZ, H. D., 1985, Calcite dissolution kinetics in porous media:Chemical Geology, v. 53, p. 219–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BERTANI, R. T., and CAROZZI, A. V., 1984, Microfacies, depositional models and diagenesis of Lagoa Feia Formation (Lower Cretaceous) Campos Basin, offshore Brazil: PETROBRA-CENPES, Ciencia Tecnica Petroleo, No. 14, Rio de Janeiro, 104 p.Google Scholar
  4. BUHMANN, D., and DREYBRODT, W., 1985, The kinetics of calcite dissolution and precipitation in geologically relevant situations of karst areas 2. Closed system:Chemical Geology, v. 53, p. 109–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CAROTHERS, W. W., and KHARAKA, Y. K., 1978, Aliphatic acid anions in oilfield waters and their implications for the origin of natural gas:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 62, p. 2441–2453.Google Scholar
  6. CAROTHERS, W. W., and KHARAKA, Y. K., 1980, Stable carbon isotopes of HCO3 in oilfield waters — implications for the origin of CO2: Geochem. et Cosmochim. Acta, v. 44, p. 323–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CHOQUETTE, P. W., 1983, Platy algal reef mounds, Paradox Basin, in Scholle, P. A., Bebout, D. G., and Moore, C. H., eds., Carbonate Depositional Environments,Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Memoir 33, p. 454–462.Google Scholar
  8. CHOQUETTE, P. W., and PRAY, L. C., 1970, Geologic nomenclature and classification of porosity in sedimentary carbonates:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 54, p. 207–250.Google Scholar
  9. CHOQUETTE, P. W., and TRAUT, J. D., 1963, Pennsylvanian carbonate reservoirs Ismay Field, Utah and Colorado: in Bass, R. O., ed., Shelf carbonates of the Paradox Basin:Four Corners Geol. Society, p. 157–184.Google Scholar
  10. DAWSON, VVM. C., 1984, Petrography, sedimentology, diagenesis, and reservoir characteristics of some phylloid algal limestones: Kansas and Utah, U.S.A.: unpubl. PhD thesis, University Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 225 n.Google Scholar
  11. DAWSON, WM. C., 1988a, Ismay reservoirs, Paradox Basin: diagenesis and porosity development: in Geolsby, S.M. and Longman, M.W., eds. Occurence and Petrophysical Properties of Carbonate Reservoirs in Rocky Mountain Region: Rocky Mountain Assoc. Geologists, p. 163–174.Google Scholar
  12. DAWSON, WM. C., 1988b, Stylolite porosity in carbonate reservoirs:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 72, p. 176.Google Scholar
  13. DAWSON, WM. C., and A. V. CAROZZI, 1985, Experimental fabric-selective porosity in phylloid algal limestones:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 69, p. 248.Google Scholar
  14. DAWSON, WM. C., and CAROZZI, A. V., 1986, Anatomy of a phylloid algal buildup, Raytown Limestone, Iola Formation, Pennsylvanian, southeast Kansas, U.S.A.:Sed. Geology, v. 47, p. 221–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DONATH, F. A., 1970, Rock deformation apparatus and experiments for dynamic structural geology:Jour. Geol. Education, v. 18, p. 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. DONATH, F. A., CAROZZI, A. V., FRUTH, L. S., Jr., and RICH, D. W., 1980, Oomoldic porosity experimentally developed in Mississippian oòlitic limestone:Jour. Sed. Petrology, v. 50, p. 1249–1260.Google Scholar
  17. DUNNINGTON, H. V., 1967, Aspects of diagenesis and shape change in stylolitic limestone reservoirs: Seventh World Petroleum Congress Proc., Mexico City, v. 2, p. 339–352.Google Scholar
  18. EMERY, D., HUDSON, J.D., MARSHALL, J.D., and DICKSON, J.A.D., 1988, The origin of late spar cements in the Lincolnshire Limestone, Jurassic of central England:Jour. Geol. Soc. London, v. 145, p. 621–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. FALKENHEIN, F.V.H., FRANKE, M.R., and CAROZZI, A. V., 1981. Petroleum geology of the Maca’e Formation (Albian-Cenomanian), Campos Basin, Brazil (carbonate microfacies — depositional and diagenetic models — natural and experimental porosity): PETROBRACENPES, Ciencia Tecnica Petroleo, 11, Rio de Janeiro, 140 p.Google Scholar
  20. FRANKE, M.R., 1981, Natural porosity, diagenetic evolution and experimental porosity development in Maca’e carbonates (Albian-Cenomanian), Campos Basin, offshore Brazil: unpubl. PhD thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, IL, 132 p.Google Scholar
  21. FRIEDMAN, G. M., 1987, Deep-burial diagenesis: its implications for vertical movements of the crust, uplift of the lithosphere and isostatic unroofing — a review:Sed. Geology, v. 50, p. 67–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. GRETNER, P. E., 1978, Pore pressure: fundamentals, general ramifications and implications for structural geology: Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Cont. Educ. Course Note Series 4, 87 p.Google Scholar
  23. HALBOUNTY, M.T., 1980, Methods used and experienced gained, in exploration for new oil and gas fields in highly explored (mature) areas:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 64, p. 1210–1222.Google Scholar
  24. HALLEY, R. B., and SCHMOKER, J. W., 1983, High-porosity Cenozoic carbonate rock of south Florida: progressive loss of porosity with depth:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 67, p. 191–200.Google Scholar
  25. HUTCHEON, I., and ABERCROMBIE, H., 1990, Carbon dioxide in clastic rocks and silicate hydrolysis:Geology, v. 18, p. 541–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. KHARAKA, Y. K., LAW, L. M., CAROTHERS, W. M., and GOERLITZ, D. F., 1986, Role of organic species dissolved in formation waters from sedimentary basins in mineral diagenesis: in Gautier, D. L., ed., Roles of Organic Matter in Sediment Diagenesis, SEPM Spec. Publ. 30, p. 111–122.Google Scholar
  27. KOEPNICK, R. B., 1985, Impact of stylolites on carbonate reservoir continuit Y: exarnple from Middle East (abs.):Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 69, p. 274.Google Scholar
  28. LONGMAN, M. W., 1980, Carbonate diagenetic textures from near-surface diagenetic environments:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 64, p. 461–487.Google Scholar
  29. LUNDEGARD, P.D., and LAND, L.S., 1986, Carbon dioxide and organic acids: their role in porosity enhancement and cementation, Paleogene of the Texas Gulf Coast, in Gautier, D. L., ed., Roles of Organic Matter in Sediment Diagenesis: SEPM Spec. Publ. 38, p. 129–146.Google Scholar
  30. LUNDEGARD, P. D., and LAND, L. S., 1989, Carbonate equilibria and pH buffering by organic acids — response to changes in PCO2:Chem. Geol., v. 74, p. 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. MAZZULLO, S. J., 1981, Facies and burial dia≈enesis of a carbonate reservnir Chapman Deep (Atokan) Field, Delaware Basin, Texas:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 65, p. 850–865.Google Scholar
  32. MAZZULLO, S. J., and P. M. HARRIS, 1992, Mesogenetic dissolution: its role in porosity development in carbonate reservoirs:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 76, p. 607–620.Google Scholar
  33. MESHRI, I. D., 1986, On the reactivity of carbonic and organic acids and generation of secondary porosity, in Goutier, D. L., ed., Roles of Organic Matter in Sediment Diagenesis: SEPM Spec. Publ. 38, p. 123–128.Google Scholar
  34. MOORE, C. H., 1989, Carbonate Diagenesis and Porosity: Developments in Sedimentology, v. 46, Elsevier, New York 338 p.Google Scholar
  35. MOORE, C.H., and DRUCKMAN, Y., 1981, Burial diagenesis and porosity evolution, Upper Jurassic Smackover, Arkansas and Louisiana:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Bull., v. 65, p. 597–628.Google Scholar
  36. NELSON, R. A., 1981, Significance of fracture sets associated with stylolite zones.Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 65, p. 2417–2425.Google Scholar
  37. OHLEN, H. R., and McINTYRE, L. B., 1965, Stratigraphy and tectonic features of Paradox Basin, Four Comers area:Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 49, p. 2020–2040.Google Scholar
  38. PALCIAUSKAS, V. V., and DOMENICO, P. A., 1976, Solution chemistry, mass transfer, and the approach to chemical equilibrium in porous carbonate rocks and sediments:Geol. Soc. of America Bull., v. 87, p. 207–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. PLUMMER, L. N., WIGLEY, T. M. L., and PARKHURST, D. L., 1978, The kinetics of calcite dissolution in CO2-water systems at 5° to 60°C and 0.0 to 1.0 atm CO2:Amer. Jour. Science, v. 278, p. 179–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. RICH, D. W., 1980, Porosity in oolitic limestones: unpubl. PhD thesis, University Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, 185 p.Google Scholar
  41. RICH, D. W., and CAROZZI, A. V., 1981, Experimental development of porosity in carbonate rocks under simulated deep burial conditions.Archives des Sciences Geneve, v. 34, p. 5–28.Google Scholar
  42. SCHMIDT, V., and McDONALD, D. A., 1979, Role of secondary porosity in the course of sandstones diagenesis, in Scholle, P. A., and Schluger, P. R., eds., Aspects of Diagenesis: SEPM Spec. Publ. 26, p. 175–207.Google Scholar
  43. SCHOLLE, P. A., and HALLEY, R. B., 1985, Burial diagenesis: out of sight, out of mind! in Schneiderman, N., and Harris, P. M., eds., Carbonate Cements: SEPM Spec. Publ. 36, p. 309–334.Google Scholar
  44. SIPPEL, R. F., and GLOVER, E. D., 1964, The solution alteration of carbonate rocks, the effects of temperature and pressure:Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta, v. 28, p. 1401–1417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. SWIRYDCZUK, K., 1988, Mineralogic control on porosity type in Upper Jurassic Smackover ooid grainstones, southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana:Jour. Sedimentary Petrology, v. 58, p. 339–347.Google Scholar
  46. VON BERGEN, D., and CAROZZI, A. V., 1987, Stylolitic porosity in carbonates: a critical factor for deep hydrocarbon production:Jour. Petrol. Geology, v. 10, p. 267–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. WALKDEN, G. M., and WILLIAMS, D. O., 1991, The diagenesis of the late Dinantian Derbyshire — East Midland carbonate self, central England:Sedimentology, v. 38, p. 643–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. WALTER, L. M., 1985, Relative reactivity of skeletal carbonates during dissolution: implications for diagenesis, in Schneidermann, N., and Harris, P. M., eds., Carbonate Cements, SEPM Spec. Publ. 36, p. 3–16.Google Scholar
  49. WALTER, L. M., 1986, Relative efficiency of carbonate dissolution and precipitation during diagenesis: a progress report on the role of solution chemistry, in Gautier, D. L., ed., Roles of Organic Matter in Sediment Diagenesis, SEPM Spec. Publ. 38, p. 1–11.Google Scholar
  50. WALTER, L. M., and MORSE, J. W., 1984, Reactive surface area of skeletal carbonates during dissolution: effect of grain size:Jour. Sedimentary Petrology, v. 54, p. 1081–1090.Google Scholar
  51. WEYL, P. K., 1958, The solution kinetics of calcite:Jour. Geology, v. 66, p. 163–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. WONG, P. K., and OLDERSHAW, A., 1981, Burial cementation in the Devonian, Kaybobreef complex, Alberta, Canada:Jour. Sedimentary Petrology, v. 51, p. 507–520.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. Dawson
    • 1
  • Albert V. Carozzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Texaco EPTDHouston
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana

Personalised recommendations