The origin of formation water and the carbonate cement precipitation mechanism of the Xujiahe Formation tight sandstone in the western Sichuan foreland basin

  • Kun Li
  • Sibing LiuEmail author
  • Zhengxiang Lü
  • Yan Liu
Original Paper


Carbonate cement is the most important cement type of the Xujiahe Formation in the western Sichuan foreland basin. In particular, the Xu-2 Member has a much higher content of dolomite cement, and the Xu-4 Member predominately contains calcite cement. It is concluded that the formation water contained in the Xujiahe Formation in the western Sichuan foreland basin was originally sourced from meteoric water, the formation water in both members was heavily influenced by the release of water from the compaction of mud shale and coal beds, and the present-day characteristics of the water are the result of concentration and water-rock interaction during the burial process. The Xu-4 Member has a relatively open water-rock system that results in the formation water exhibiting heavier oxygen isotope values and the carbonate cements exhibiting lighter carbon isotope values, dominated by calcite. The Xu-2 Member has a more closed water-rock system, and the significantly heavier carbon isotope values of the carbonate cement in it are related to the source of cementitious material, the lithology of its underlying source rock, and the tectonic uplift erosion.


Tight sandstone Carbonate cements Precipitation mechanism Xujiahe Formation Western Sichuan foreland basin 



We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Prof. Guosheng Xu and Prof. Yinhui Zuo for their work in reviewing the article. We appreciate the willingness of Dr. Li Chuan and Dr. Wang Peng from the Chengdu University of Technology, and Engineer Liu Haonian and Engineer Tian Jun from the Southwest Petroleum Branch, Sinopec, to share their work and expertise.

Funding information

This work was supported by the Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (20125122120020) and National Science and Technology Major Project (2016ZX05024002-007).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sibing Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhengxiang Lü
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yan Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Geology and ExploitationChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.College of Energy ResourcesChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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