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How to Describe sample while on wellsite job:

First we need to tell about the rock type then we have to follow the trend as per client requirement. Here are
some common rock types.
CLS/MDST/SLST
1. COLOUR
I.e. med dk gy-dk gy, dk gy br-dk gy, lt gy, dk brn, blk, blu, brn, clss, cr (cream), go, grn, op (opaque),
or, pk, purp, red, vi, wh, yel, varicol, mot.
2. HARDNESS (CONSOLIDATION)
sft
soft
Grains offer no resistance when prodded
frm
firm
Gns bk apart easily
mod hd mod hard
Gns bk with some difficulty
hd
Hard
Grains diff to bk
brit
brittle
(bk easily along fracture planes) ie Coal or salt
cons
consolidated
uncons unconsolida
ol
ted
plas
plastic
Flex without breaking
3. FRACTURE (BREAK)
blky
blocky
ang
angular
splty
splintery
fis
fissile
subfis
amor
conch
crumb

sub-fissile
amorphous
conchoidal
crumbly

Break into rectangular fragments


Majority of corners are less than 90 deg
Pointed elongated cuttings
Fine grained sediments tend to divide readily along
well developed laminar or platy structure
As above, but not so well pronounced
No form / commonly to describe soft cuttings
Curved ribbed surface, like a shell
crumbles

4. TEXTURE (to describe visual appearance)


erthy
earthy
homog homogenou Rock with a uniform appearance ie plain mudstone
s
heterog heterogeneo Ie sandy mudstone or conglomerate
us
vesic
vesicular
Small spherical cavities, like an aero.
amor
amorphous
No form / commonly to describe soft cuttings
chky
chalky
Appears chalky
xln
crystalline
Appears xln
suc
sucrosic
Appears sugary
wxy
waxy
Appears waxy
fri
friable
Can be disintegrated into individual grains by finger
pressure
lam
laminated
Appears laminated
wxy
waxy
fri
friable
5. SILT CONTENT

ie sl slty, loc slty or w occ vf qtz


Arenaceous
CLST that has a recognisable sandy content /
appearance / texture

6. CARBONATE CONTENT (crush cuttings)


non, sl, v or occ sl
calcareous The way in which a cutting reacts in 10%
calc
HCL
dolomitic Reacts only after several mins immersion
i.e. occ sl calc or v dol
N.B. an oil based mud inhibits reaction, so crush cuttings to expose fresh surfaces.
7. SWELLING
swlg / non swlg
Hygtd
Hygclst
Hygfis
Crypttd
Cryptfis

Swell = (NB hydro + hygro used with same meaning)

Hydroturgid = swelling in a random manner/ imm


expands/throughout sample
Hygroclastic = bits break off in water / patchy swelling
Hydrofissile = swells into sm flakes [sl], [mod] or [v]
Cryptoturgid = swells in dilute HCL hot water
Cryptofissile = as Hygro but induced by 10% HCL

8. ACCESSORY COMPONENTS (Small quants of other minerals present)


dissem = fine grains throughout
mica
nod = crystalline mass
glauc
r tr = rare trace of
abun =
micromic = micromicaceous
abundant
loc = locally
occ =
occasionally

SST
1. NAME OF ROCK SST (cemented sand grains) or SND (sand)
2. COMPOSITION... QTZ, ark (sig quantities of Feldspar), lith (sig rock fragments)
PDC bits churn well-cemented sandstone into Rk Flr, so acid test may look like LST. Look for grains of
sand trapped within the paste.
If predominantly recovered as Rock Flour then start with SST: recd as Rk Flr,
If predominantly SST then start with SST: and state finally also recvd as Rk Flr, (if applic).
If predominantly grains and some Rk flr then start with SST: lse qtz gns..also recvd as Rk Flr.
3. COLOUR
I.e. clss, clr to transl, transp-transl, loc pale gry or pale gry brn, frstd
(abraded outer surface)

4. HARDNESS (CONSOLIDATION)

fri
lse
brit
cons
unconso
l

friable
(in place of soft or firm)
loose
Where only sand grains are observed
brittle
(bk easily along fracture planes) i.e. Coal or salt
consolidated
unconsolida
ted

5. FRACTURE / BREAK ( to describe morphology of cuttings)


blky
blocky
Break into rectangular fragments
ang
angular
Majority of corners are less than 90 deg
splty
splintery
Pointed elongated cuttings
fis
fissile
Fine grained sediments tend to divide readily along well
developed laminar or platy structure
subfis
sub-fissile
As above, but not so well pronounced
amor
amorphous
No form / commonly to describe soft cuttings
conch
conchoidal
Curved ribbed surface, like a shell
crumb crumbly
A cutting of irregular outline
6. GRAINS
Grain type (if
app)
Grain Size
Grain Colour
(if applic)
Grain Shape
(or roundness)
Grain
Sphericity
Grain Sorting

Usually Quartz, Occ Arkosic (sig quantities of F/spar - difficult


to spot) or Lithic (sig rock fragments)
vf, f, med, c, vc ie vf to occ m
wh, clss, transl, transp, yel, or , frstd (abraded outer surface).
ang, subang, rnd, subrnd, well rnd ie subang to subrnd, loc
rnd
sphr, subsphr, elong, subelong ie subang to subsphr
(Little var = well srt), mod srt, pr srt, bimod srt ie 50/50 pr
srt

7. CEMENTATION (in terms of degree and type)


Cement
quals are: Lse loose
No cement
type
r, occ, pr, Sili Silica
no react with
how
mod,
HCL
easily can well, str
Cal Calcite usual reaction
the bond
Dol
dolomitic
be
Dolomite
reaction
broken?
8. MODIFIERS
Sand is Argillaceous
arg
Clst is Arenaceous
aren
Conglomeratic SST
SSTQ
SSTA
SSTL

r sili cem, loc slty


occ with str calc cem

Non CLST with a recognisable clay content


Non SST i.e. CLST that has a recognisable sandy
content / appearance / texture
Quartz
Arkosic ark (sig quantities of Feldspar)
Lithic li (sig rock fragments)

Small
quants of
other
minerals
present

tr pyr

Might be dissem (fine grains throughout) or nod


(crystalline mass) ie
Other examples are rtr mica or abun mica and glauc or occ
mica or loc glauc or nod glau

9. POROSITY extremely subjective


vis por visible porosity Ie gd vis poro or no vis poro
intxln
Intercrystalline
intraxl Intracrystalline
n
intgran Intergranular
intragr intragranular
an
THEN GO ONTO SHOWS
LST (wash salts with base oil only to avoid dissolving)
CARBONATES (composed of lime mud and/or biogenic debris)
EVAPORITES (ie Gypsum/Anhydrite)
After etching can place sample in cold Alazarin Red for a few mins. LMST = deep red, DOL =
unaffected
2. COLOUR (specifically the colour of the rock)
I.e. lt brn gr, brn gy, blu/wh, gy-off wh.
3. CONSOLIDATION
sft
soft
frm
firm
mod hd mod hard
hd
hard
brit
brittle
cons
consolidated
uncons unconsolida
ol
ted
plas
plastic
lse
loose
fri
friable

Grains offer no resistance when prodded


Gns bk apart easily
Gns bk with some difficulty
Grains diff to bk
(bk easily along fracture planes) ie Coal or salt

Flex without breaking


Loose
Easily crumbled

4. FRACTURE SHAPE (to describe morphology of cuttings)


blky
blocky
Break into rectangular fragments
ang
angular
Majority of corners are less than 90 deg
splint
splintery
Pointed elongated cuttings
fis
fissile
Fine grained sediments tend to divide readily along well
developed laminar or platy structure
subfis
sub-fissile
As above, but not so well pronounced
amor
amorphous
No form / commonly to describe soft cuttings
conch
conchoidal
Curved and ribbed surface, like a shell
crumb crumbly
Crumbles

5. TEXTURE (to describe visual appearance)

microxl
n
xln
cryptox
ln
suc
ool
erthy
homog
heterog
ves
amor
chky
lam

Microcrystall
ine
crystalline
cryptocrystall
ine
sucrosic
oolitic
earthy
homogenous
heterogeneou
s
vesicular
amorphous
chalky
laminated

Only visible under microscope


Easily visible crystal structure
Crystalline in appearance but no visible structure
(commonly applied to Chert)
Fine grained rock with sugary appearance
When contains spheroids of algal origin
Rock with a uniform appearance ie plain mudstone
Ie sandy mudstone or conglomerate
Like an aero
No form / commonly to describe soft cuttings
Appears chalky
Appears laminated

5(a). DUNHAMS CLASSIFICATION (FOR LIMESTONES)


BASED ON PROPORTIONS OF LIME MUD TO SKELETAL FRAGMENTS
Mudstone
Composed of lime mud (<20m) + less than 10% grains. Mud
Mdst
supported
Wackestone
[COARSE GRAINS FLOATING IN MATRIX] Composed
Wkst
mainly lime mud w more than 10% grains (>20m). Mud suptd
Packestone
[GRAINS IN CONTACT WITH MATRIX] Composed mainly
Pkst
grains + grain suptd. >10% interstitial mud matrix + occ sparry
calcite or pore space
Grainstone
[GRAINS WITHOUT MATRIX] Composed of grains + grain
Grst
supported. Less than 10% interstitial mud matrix
Boundstone
Original constituents bound + suptd by organic growth
Bdst
Crystalline
All orig textures lacking due to recrystallisation. Distinct
Xln
crystal faces
6. MODIFIERS
Argillaceous
arg
Arenaceous
Dolomitic dol
Anhydrite anhy
Siliceous sili

Non claystones with a recognisable clay content


Non claystones with a recognisable sandy content

7. ACCESSORIES
Small quants tr
Might be dissem (fine grains throughout) or nod
of other
pyr
(crystalline mass)
minerals
Other examples are rtr mica or abun mica and glauc or occ
present
mica or loc glauc or nod glauc
Anhydrite
Dolomite
Limestone often contains carbonaceous lamination of algal origin

8. POROSITY usually Visible or Estimated(visual estimation is very subjective)

vis por

visible porosity

intxln
intraxln
intgran
intragra
n
fr
vug

Intercrystalline
Intracrystalline
Intergranular
Intragranular
Fracture
Vuggy

Ie nil (or pr, or fr or mod or gd or v gd or exc) vis


poro
May be seen in oolitic limestones
Is the principal type
Where elements of original fabric have been
leached away by ground water

9. OOLITES/PELOIDS
SPH, SUBSPH, (SPECIFY SIZE RANGE)
SHOWS
1. STAIN
If free oil in sample then give %
is there an oily smell?
Examine cuttings for oil staining under microscope (what colour in sample tray).
Could be: spty, streaky, pch, uniform. Ie 10% spty stn or no vis stn or 50% pch stn or generally
weak or weak to fair or pale br oil stain, uniformbrt bluish white fluor
2. FLUORESCENCE (natural)
Examine washed cuttings under UV light and describe:
(a) Amount: in %
(b) Intensity of fluorescence: v dull, dull, mod, bright
( c) Colours: [bluish white condensate], [white],[yellow], [gold], [green], [orange heavier oil], [brown
heavier oil], [black in bitumen + dead oil]
Note: base oil gives off a pale blue fluorescence (keep a sample in UV box)
ie 80% dull yel fluor or 90% brt yel wht fluor
(d) Distribution: i.e. patchy, evenly.
Place representative cuttings in spot tray to check they are SST and not CaCO3
3. SOLVENT CUT (should really list type ie normal, dried, acid, water)
Spot tray back in UV and (while watching) immerse cuttings in trichloroethane, describe: (as it is leached
from rock)
(a) Rapidity = instant, fast, mod fast, mod, mod slow, slow
(b) Character = diffuse, blooming, streaming
(c ) Colour = br, orange, gold, bright yellow, gy yel, yel wht, blu wht.
ie mod-fst strmg,blu wht cut fluor
4. CRUSH CUT
If leaching is v slow, then crush cuttings and observe changes in fluorescence.
- could use fresh sample5. Residual Ring Describe colour of oil stained solvent under natural light
allow solvent to evaporate and describe colour of residual ring
ie thk res rng, abnt O in mud, str pet odr OR no res rng, mod O in mud, no pet odor occ pale br
residue
residual ring = none, trace, thin rng, mod rng, thick ring, thin film, thick film
oil in mud = trace, mod, abnt
odour = str, mod, tr, none

CHEMICAL TESTS
With 10% HCL etch
Limestone = instant + violent / float + move around / comp dissolve in mins / leaves acid frothy
Dolomitic Limestone = immediate reaction / moderate + continuous / move from top to bottom of acid
Calcitic Dolomite = slowly + weakly / accelerates to continuos reaction after few mins / some bobbing on
bottom
Dolomite = slow + hesitant / bubbles evolve one at a time / may have to warm acid for reaction to proceed /
leaves acid milky.
With Alazarin Red etch (after HCL) leave in cold Alaz Red for a few minutes
Limestone = Deep red
Dolomite = Unaffected
Calcite = Red
Ferrous Calcite = Mauve
Fe rich Calcite = Purple
Fe dolomite = Light Blue
With Barium Chloride test (BaCL2) (for evaporates)
1. Place several cuttings in bottle and fill with distilled water.
2. Agitate and pour off water.
3. Refill and repeat.
4. Half fill with distilled water, add 3 drops of HCL and agitate.
5. Add 2 drops BaCL2
6. Note discoloration - if any.
Anhydrite = white precipitate
Gypsum = pearly white discoloration
Phenolphthalen = red-cement
Heating will cause
Dolomite Claystone to effervesce when heated but will produce lots of particles and the cement dissolves.
Dolomite will stay solid and bubble.

Types..
Very Very Fine Claystone less than 1/3rd Silt
Very Fine Mudstone between 1/3rd + 2/3rds Silt
[less than 4m] extremely fine grain, homogenous appearance, smooth + fine, feels greasy to touch, not gritty
between teeth. - [greater than 50% Clay then Argillaceous]
Shale a catchall category where there is more than 1/3rd Clay and unknown quantity of Silt. Also when a
fine sediment becomes laminated. [less than 4m]
Fine Siltstone more than 2/3rds Silt
less than 3% clay, more than 67% silt size perticles [4-60m]
grainy, though generally grains are not vis to naked eye, feels gritty between teeth, has greater than 50% Silt
content. Crush few crumbs with pencil in dish. If feels grainy is silt
Argillaceous Rocks the most abundant sediment
primarily marine depositional, though can be lacustrine or f/water
Shales, well compacted and fissile

Clays, soft and amorphous


Marls(Carbonate bearing clays).calcareous shale
Siliceous Rocks small % of seds
Siltstones smaller than the smallest sst grains
Sands silica grns, fldsprs & other minerals
Sandstones
Claystone/Mudstone
extremely fine grain, homogenous appearance, smooth + fine, feels greasy to touch, not gritty between teeth.
[less than 4m]
[greater than 50% Clay then Argillaceous]
If becomes laminated then is Shale [less than 4m]
Siltstone [4-60m]
grainy, though generally grains are not vis to naked eye, feels gritty between teeth, has greater than 50% Silt
content
Sandstone (coarse) -crush few crumbs with pencil in dish. If feels grainy is silt
Crystal Forms
Anhedral - no visible crystal form
Subhedral - partly developed crystal form
Euhedral - well developed crystal form
Clastic Rock Types
Rudaceous - Till..Gravel
Aranaceous - Silt..Sand
Argillaceous - Mud..Clay