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Classification of Lithified Carbonates Using Ternary Plots of Pore Facies: Examples from the Jurassic Smackover Formation

  • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Steven D. Mann
Part of the Frontiers in Sedimentary Geology book series (SEDIMENTARY)

Summary

Ternary diagrams whose apexes are carbonate pore types (ternary pore plots) are used to summarize quantitative data derived from point counting of thin sections, using a modification of the genetic carbonate-rock porosity classification of Choquette and Pray (1970). Ternary pore plots provide information on the shapes and origins of pore-system elements. Hence, ternary pore plots complement engineering data, which give information on the sizes of pore-system elements. Thin-section point-count data are inexpensive and easy to collect, and can be used to guide more expensive engineering analyses.

Ternary pore plots provide insight into a variety of geological problems, including (1) identification of flow units; i.e., stratigraphic intervals that have significantly different fluid-flow properties; (2) recognition of diagenetic processes, gradients, and trends; and (3) identification of pore facies or characteristic kinds of pore systems that may be of regional extent. Certain kinds of pore systems have characteristic fluid-flow properties; therefore, when pore facies are calibrated to other petrophysical data, pore-facies assignments may become predictors of other reservoir characteristics, such as reservoir performance.

The use of ternary pore plots is illustrated by two case studies of the upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Smackover Formation in southwestern Alabama. More than 50 thin sections from 8 wells were point counted. Three components account for more than 95% of pores (moldic plus secondary intraparticle, interparticle, and intercrystalline) and define the apexes of ternary pore plots. In case 1, multiple reservoir lithofacies from a single well form discrete clusters on ternary pore plots. The positions of these point clusters on ternary pore plots record progressive diagenetic destruction of primary rock fabric, forming a diagenetic-intensity gradient. In case 2, reservoir intervals from cores in different wells plot close to each other on ternary pore plots, permitting identification of regionally distributed pore facies.

Keywords

Pore System Ternary Diagram Depositional Fabric Ternary Plot Petroleum Geologist Bulletin 
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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Kopaska-Merkel
  • Steven D. Mann

There are no affiliations available

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