Characterization of Stylolite Networks in Platform Carbonates

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation book series (ASTI)


Stylolites are rough dissolution surfaces that form by intergranular pressure solution resulting from burial compaction or tectonic stress. Despite being ubiquitous in carbonate rocks and potentially influencing fluid flow, it is not yet clear how the type and distribution of stylolite networks relate to lithofacies. This study investigates Lower Cretaceous platform carbonates in the Benicàssim area (Maestrat Basin, Spain) to statistically characterize stylolite network morphology in a variety of typical shallow-marine lithofacies. Stylolites in each lithofacies were sampled in the field and different measuring techniques were applied. Grain size, sorting and composition were found to be the key lithological variables responsible for the development of rough anastomosing networks. A statistical workflow, requiring only limited subsurface information, relating stylolite morphology with lithofacies can subsequently be used to predict fluid flow behavior in stylolitised reservoirs.


Stylolite Carbonate Diagenesis Lithofacies Maestrat basin 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeosciencesKing’s College, University of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  2. 2.Departament de Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada, Facultat de Ciències de la TerraUniversitat de Barcelona (UB)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesTübingen UniversityTübingenGermany

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