Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 369–384 | Cite as

The impact of diagenetic fluid–rock reactions on Rotliegend sandstone composition and petrophysical properties (Altmark area, central Germany)

  • Dieter PudloEmail author
  • Viktor Reitenbach
  • Daniel Albrecht
  • Leonhard Ganzer
  • Ulrich Gernert
  • Joachim Wienand
  • Bernd Kohlhepp
  • Reinhard Gaupp
Special Issue


In the framework of the German R&D joint project CLEAN (CO2 large-scale enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark natural gas field), Rotliegend reservoir sandstones of the Altensalzwedel block in the Altmark area (Saxony-Anhalt, central Germany) have been studied to characterise litho- and diagenetic facies, mineral content, geochemical composition, and petrophysical properties. These sands have been deposited in a playa environment dominated by aeolian dunes, dry to wet sand flats and fluvial channel fills. The sediments exhibit distinct mineralogical, geochemical, and petrophysical features related to litho- and diagenetic facies types. In sandstones of the damp to wet sandflats, their pristine red colours are preserved and porosity and permeability are only low. Rocks of the aeolian environment and most of the channel fill deposits are preferentially bleached and exhibit moderate to high porosity and permeability. Although geochemical element whole rock content in these rocks is very similar, element correlations are different. Variations in porosity and permeability are mainly due to calcite and anhydrite dissolution and differences in clay coatings with Fe-bearing illitic-chloritic composition exposed to the pore space. Moreover, mineral dissolution patterns as well as compositions (of clays and carbonate) and morphotypes of authigenic minerals (chlorite, illite) are different in red and bleached rocks. Comparison of the geochemical composition and mineralogical features of diagenetically altered sandstones and samples exposed to CO2-bearing fluids in laboratory batch experiments exhibit similar character. Experiments prove an increase in wettability and water binding capacity during CO2 impact.


Rotliegend sandstones Diagenesis Bleaching Mineral-geochemistry Petrophysical properties Batch experiments 



This study was conducted as part of the R&D-Programme GEOTECHNOLOGIEN. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Council (DFG). We deeply appreciate grants by the BMBF (Grant-Nos. 03G0704G–FSU Jena and 03G0704R TU Clausthal). The authors also want to thank GDF SUEZ E&P DEUTSCHLAND GMBH for conducted research collaboration within this programme. Help in performing and discussing geochemical analysis was kindly given by Dr. D. Merten (FSU Jena). In conducting cathodoluminescence microscopy the invaluable assistance of Prof. Dr. J. Götze (TU/Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Mineralogy) and Dr. A. Kronz (Geowissenschaftliches Zentrum Universität Göttingen, Abteilung Geochemie) are deeply acknowledged. Special thanks are given to the reviewers, by their critical comments they strongly improved this contribution.

Supplementary material

12665_2012_1723_MOESM1_ESM.tif (21.3 mb)
Thin section images of pristine red and bleached Altmark sandstones: (A) in pristine red sandstones clasts are covered by ferrous clay coatings (brownish colours) and intergranular space is filled by early diagenetic formed anhydrite (An) and (not shown) calcite cements-P = (rare observed) pore space (TIFF 21776 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM2_ESM.tif (21.3 mb)
(B) Commonly in bleached sandstones clay cutans are lacking at mineral-pore space (P) interfaces and poikiloblastic remnants of pore filling anhydrite (An) and calcite (Cc) cementation is preserved-IP = intragranular pore, VL = volcanic clast (TIFF 21776 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM3_ESM.tif (21.2 mb)
(C) Chlorite precipitation within and close to intermediate to mafic volcanic clasts, which consist of plagioclase laths and interstitial (devitrified) volcanic glass is common (TIFF 21757 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM4_ESM.tif (21.2 mb)
(D) Dissolution of volcanic clasts after (second stage, Mn- and Fe-enriched) calcite generation forms intragranular porosity and favours Fe-depleted and Si-enriched chlorite growth (TIFF 21757 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM5_ESM.tif (21.2 mb)
(E) Like in carbonate minerals, preferential dissolution along cleavage planes and their intersections are also observed in feldspar clasts—note: triangular-like (etch pit typical) shaped intrapore boundaries (TIFF 21757 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM6_ESM.tif (9.4 mb)
(F) Sometimes, corroded feldspars are exposed to the open pore space and stained by crude oil/bitumen, suggesting alteration by HC-interaction (TIFF 9630 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM7_ESM.tif (8.6 mb)
(G) In some bleached rocks, grain rimming chlorites extend to the pore space and exhibit (dark) greyish colours, suggesting formation prior to subsequent HC influx (TIFF 8816 kb)
12665_2012_1723_MOESM8_ESM.tif (8.9 mb)
(H) Late diagenetic formed, pore filling calcite is covering greyish (bitumen-bearing) chlorite coatings, but is also stained by bitumen—inferring carbonate precipitation almost contemporarily to HC migration (TIFF 9156 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Pudlo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Viktor Reitenbach
    • 2
  • Daniel Albrecht
    • 2
  • Leonhard Ganzer
    • 2
  • Ulrich Gernert
    • 3
  • Joachim Wienand
    • 2
  • Bernd Kohlhepp
    • 1
  • Reinhard Gaupp
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeosciencesFriedrich-Schiller-University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Petroleum EngineeringClausthal University of TechnologyClausthal-ZellerfeldGermany
  3. 3.Centre for Electron MicroscopyTechnical University BerlinBerlinGermany

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