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243

Geoiogische Rundschau 78/1 I 243-268 I Stuttgart 1989

Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution


By KNUT BJg)RLYKKE,MOGENSRAMM and GIRISH C. SAIGAL,Oslo:~)

With 9 figures and 3 tables

Zusammenfassung Funktion der Gradienten yon Mineralzusammensetzung,


Temperatur und Druck beschrieben werden. Prim~*e Porosi-
Die bestimmenden Faktoren yon Sandsteinen als mSg- t~it ist am besten in Sandsteinen mit einem hohen Anteil an
liche Speichergesteine und yon Schiefern als Bildungsort stabilen Komponenten (z. B. Quatzarenite) his zu einer Tiefe
yon Kohlenwasserstoffen liegen in den Verh~ilmissen der pri-
von drei oder vier Kilometern erhalten.
rn~.ren Fazieausbildungen der Gesteine und deren Druckl6sungserscheinungen sind fiir die zunehmende
Diagenesegeschichte. Korn-Parameter (Sortierung, Pak- Abnahme der Porositlit in gr6f~eren Tiefen verantwortlich.
kungsdichte und Zusammensetzung) und Netto-Auflast Dabei scheinen sekund~ire und intergranulare Porenr'~iume
steuern mechanische Kompaktion und DrucklSsung. Diese zwischen FeldspatkSrnern relativ zu prim~iren Porenr'~iu-
sind fiir Porosit~tsreduzierungen verantwortlich, die bis zu men zwischen Quartzk6rnern stabiler zu sein.
einem bestimmten Grad abgesch~itzt werden kSnnen. Der
Einflufla yon L6sungserscheinungen fiir die Bildung sekund~i-
ren Porenraums, der hier deflniert werden konnte und die Abstract
Vorg~inge, die L6sungsphasen iniziieren, bilden den zentra-
The properties of sandstones as potential reservoirs and
len Punkt der Diskussion.
shales as source rocks depend on primary facies relation-
GrSgte Bedeutung in der Diagenese klastischer Sedimente
ships and diagenesis. Porostiy loss due to mechanical compa-
kommt dem Charakter der Grundwasserbewegungen und
tion and pressure solution is essentially a function of grain
deren Eigenschaft im Bereich des Stofftransportes zu. Daten
parameters (sorting, packing and composition) and net over-
der Petrographie und der Geochemie ergeben fiir die Spei-
burden stress. The porosity loss can be predicted to a certain
chergesteine der Nordsee, daf~ der Hauptanteil der L6sung
extent. The importance of secondary porosity caused by dis-
yon Feidspat und Muskovit, ein Vorgang, der zur Bildung
solution of framework grains and cements has been fully
yon Kaolinit fiihrte, fNhdiadenetisch unter Einflug yon
recognized. The discussion has focused on the processes
Siif~wasser stattfand. Aufgrund neuerer Kalkulationen kann
causing such dissolution and to what extent it can cause net
die Bedeutung saurer L6sungen, die man von dem Bildungs-
increase in porosity.
gestein hergeieitet, fiir die sekund~ire Porosit~.t der Speicher-
The most critical factor in clastic diagenesis is the nature
gesteine ausgeschlossen werden. Mathematische Berechnun-
of porewater flow and the degree of mass transfer taking
gen r'~iumen dem Einflui~ thermaler Konvektion in sedimen-
place as a result of this. In the North Sea reservoir rocks,
t~,ren Becken meist geringe Bedeutung zu, es sei denn es gibt
petrographic and geochemical evidence suggest that most of
groge laterale Unterschiede des geothermischen Gradienten.
the leaching of feldspar and mica resulting in the formation
Die geochemische Analyse des Porenwassers ergibt vertikale
of kaolinite occurred early during fresh wather flushing.
und horizontale Zonierungen im Chemismus des Wassers.
Recent calculations indicate that ,~acids,, derived from source
Diese Tatsache widerspricht der These einer grof~r~umischen
rocks are inadequate to explain the secondary porosity ob-
Konvektion, da in diesem Fall die Diagenese-Prozesse unter
served in reservoir rocks. Mathematical modelling suggests
Bedeckung bei relativ einheitlicher chemischer Zusammen-
that thermal convection is of limited importance in sedi-
setzung ablaufen wiirden.
mentary basins, except where there are high lateral changes
Ein besseres Verst~indnis der diagenetischen Vorg~ingewird
in geothermal gradients. Evidence from porewate:r geoche-
die Abh~.ngigkeit des Verh~iltnisses von Porosit~.t zur Tiefe,
mistry suggests that porewaters in sedimentary basins are
der Verteilung des Hohlraumvolumens und der Hohlraum-
often stratified or compartmentalized in a way which is in-
geometrie in Speichergesteinen erleichtern.
consistent with large scale convection or compactional flow,
Diskutiert werden Zusammenh~inge yon Porosit~it und
making it necessary to assume that diagenetic reactions are
Tiefe, die Daten an Stellen vor der Kiiste Norwegens und
relatively isochemical during deeper burial.
anderen Becken enmommen wurden. Ftir Tiefen zwischen
A better understanding of the diagenetic reactions will
einem und fiinf Kilometern scheinen empirische, lineare
help us to improve our predictions about porosity/depth
Geraden am besten die Verh~iltnisse zu verdeutlichen. Regio-
relations, pore size, and pore geometry distribution in reser-
nal begrenzt kann der lineare Porosit~itsgradient als eine
voir rocks.
Porosity depth trends from offshore Norway and publish-
*) Authors' address: K. BJ~RLYKKE,M. RaMM and G. C. ed data from other basins are discussed. Empirical linear
SAIGAL,Department of Geology, University of Oslo, P. O. best fit lines are found to illustrate the relationship quite well
Box 1047, Blindern, N-0316 Oslo 3, Norway. for depths between one and five km. Within a specific re-
244 K. BJ@RLYKKE,M. RAMM &= G. C. SAIGAL

gion, the linear porosity gradient is a function of mineral cents aux grains de feldspath semblent relativement plus
composition and of temperature and pressure gradients. Pri- stables que les pores primaires situ& entre les grains de
mary porosity tends to be best preserved in sandstones with quartz.
high proportions of stable grains (e. g. in quartz arenites)
down to about 3 or 4 km. At greater depth, porosity loss is
accelerated due to increased pressure solution. Secondary KpaT~zoe co~tepzganne
and primary porosity adjacent to feldspar grains then tends CBOffICTBanecqannKa, KaK noTen~Hanbnoro pe3epBya-
to be selectively preserved relative to primary pores between pa HeqbTl4, n cnant~eB, KaK ee MaTepI4HCKOfI n o p o ~ t ,
quartz grains. 3aBnC~IT OT HCXO~HbIXCOOTHOILIeHHfIq b a a ~ nopo~ n npo-
aeccoB ~IareHe3a, nponcxo~amHX B HHX.FpaHynOMeTp~-
R&um~ qecK~ff COCTaB /pacripe~eneuHe 3epeH no KpyHHOCTH,
IIYlOTHOCTb yHaKOBKH H COCTaB/ H HeTTO Harpy3KH orrpe-
Les facteurs qui caract&isent des gr~s en tam que r&er- ~eaalOT MexannqecKoe yllnoTneHne a Bslmenaql4BanHe
voirs potentiels d'hydrocarbures et des shales en tam que nopo~ npg c~aTrm. ~TH :>ICeqbaKTopbI OTBeTCTBeHHI~I3a
roches-m~res sont les relations facielles primaires et la dia- yMeHsmeHne rlOpnCTOCTII, KOTOpym y~aeTc~[ OI~eHHTI~
gen~se. La perte de porosit~ due ~ la compaction m&anique TOaSKO ~O n3BeCTnO~ cTeneHn, l-[oanocTstO pacKpLITO
et aux impressionnements (<,pressure-solutiom,) est fonction B~n~H~e aBaenHfi pacTBopeHm~ npn o6pa3oBaHnn BTO-
essentiellement des param&res des grains (classement, ordon- pHqH/~IX IIOpOBbIX IIpocTpaHCTB ~I iieMeuTa. O 6 c y ~ a -
nance et composition) et des contraintes dues ~ la surcharge. rowca npo~eccM, BSi3r~mato~ne pacTsope~rm r~ BaasHHe
La perte de porosit~ peut &re pr&ue dans une certaine me- ero Ha noB~me~ne HopncTOCTn r~opo~.
sure. O n conna~t l'importance de la porositfi secondaire pro- Boa~moe 3 n a q e ~ e npn RHareHe3a KnaCTr~qecKax
voqu& par la dissolution des grains et des ciments. La discus- ce~nMeHTOB OTBO~HTC~Ixapa~Tepy rlepe~BH)KeH~Lqrpyn-
sion est centr& sur les processus responsables de cette disso- TOBbIX BO~ H CBOfflCTBaMB pernoHe r~epenoca MaTepHa~a.
lution et sur leur incidence dans l'accroissement net de la ~aHnbm neTporpaqbg~ ~ reOXHMnHyKaabma~OT Ha TO, qTO
porosit& OCHOBtta~I ~acca nopo~KOg]3eKTOpOB ceBepnoro MOp~
Le facteur le plus critique dans la diagen&e des clastiques COGTOHT H3 noJ~eBoro mnaTa ~ MyCKOBHTa. Ha paHHnX
est la nature du flux d'eau intersticielle et le degr4 de trans- CTa~n~X ~narene3a r~o~ Bo3~efiCTBHeM npecnofi BO~S~tia-
fert de mati~re qui en rfisulte. Dans ies roches-magasins de la q~IHaeTc~ paCTBOpeH~e II o6pa3yeTc~ Kao~IHHHT. Ha OC~O-
Mer du Nord, ies observations p&rographiques et g~ochimi- BaH~g HOBeI~II/~t~XHO~CqeTOB BJ]YLqHI/I~[KNCJINIXpaCTBOpOB
ques montrent que la plus grande pattie de l'alt&ation en Ha no~B~IeHge BTOp~INHOfIIIOpHCTOCTHB nopo~ax Ko~eK-
kaolin du feldspath et du mica s'est produite iors du lessivage Topa MO)KHO HCKJHOqHTh. CorJ~aCHO MaTeMaTnqecKaM
par de l'eau douce. Selon des calculs r&ents, les <<acides,,d&i- paccqeTaM BglI4~IH!~eTepMHHeCKO/~IKOHBeKI~I4NB oca)~oq-
v& des roches-m&es ne peuvent expliquer la porositfi secon- H~IX 6accefmax O6~mHo ne BeJII~KO,ecaa B 3aTepa~IbHOM
&ire des roches-magasins. La mod~lisation math~matique nanpasaea~n ~e r~MeeTc~ 6oabmrLX pa3anqHfi reoTepMn-
sugg~re que la convection thermique ne joue qu'un rSle su- qecKoro rpa~neHTa.
bordonn~ dans un bassin de s~dimentation, saul aux en- Hpn paCCMOTpeH~III ~(aHHMXFeOXHMHqecKoFOanaJ~g3a
droits de forte variation lat&ale du gradient g~othermique. nOpOBbtX BO~ ycTaHoBaeao pa3Re~]eHne 9T~X BO~ no nx
L'&ude gfiochimique des eaux intersticielles montre que XnMH3My Ha 3OHM, KaK ItO BepTnKa~n, TaK H nO ropn3on-
dans les bassins s~dimentaires, elles sont souvent stratififies Ta~/H. ~)TOT s npoTtIBopeqaT Te3IIcy 0 KOHBeKI4U/IHHa
ou compartiment&s d'une mani~re qui est incompatible 60JIblJ/BX paccTonnr~x, T.K. B nocne~neM cayqae npo-
avec une convection ~ grande &helle car un tel ph~nom~ne i~eccM ~ a r e H c 3 a npoTeKa3n 6b~ B BoJ~ax cpflBHHTe.rlbHO
impliquerait des r&ctions diagfin&iques relativement O~HHaKOBOFO XI4MHqeCKOFOCOCTaBa.
isochimiques. ~HareHeTl~qecKHe npotleccbi MO)KHO ayqme llOIZLqTb,
Une meilleure comprehension des r&ctions diag&&iques ecan yqnTbIBaTl~ 3aBHC!4MOCTSIIopncTOCTI40T ray6nns~,
dolt nous aider ~ am~liorer nos pr&isions relatives h la rela- Be~I14q!4Hy hop H pacnpe~eJ]enne hop B nopo~ax-KonneK-
tion porositUprofondeur, et fi la r@artition de la taille et de Topax.
la forme des pores dans les roches-magasins. O6Cy)K~aCTC~ 3aBHCHMOCTb nopncTOCTr~ Hopo~ OT
Une discussion est pr&ent& ~ propos de la relation poro- ray6am,~ 3aaeranm~ mx Ha npr~uepax pe3yJIl~WaWOBncc~e-
sit~/profondeur, ~ partir des donn&s recueillies off-shore en ~OBaHH_,qHpo6, B3~ITblXy no6epe)K~ H o p s e r ~ ~ s ~pyr~x
Norv~ge et de donn&s publi&s provenant d'autres bassins. 6accefinax. ~ r~y6rm OT 1 ~o 5 KM COOTHOmeHne aTO
I1 apparak qu'entre 0 et 5 km de profondeur, des courbes COOTBeTCTByeT aHHefiHOf~ 3MnHpaqeCKOfi npaMofi. Yipr>
empiriques lin&ires rendent le mieux compte de ces rela- qeM pernoHaabnbif~ JIllHeflHbIfI rpa~l~enT nopIICTOCTH
tions. Dans une r~gion donn&, le gradient lin&ire de poro- MOXfHO npe~cTaBnT~,, KaK qbynK~nm rpa~neHTa MnHe-
sit& est fonction de la composition min~ralogique et des gra- paJ~orHqecKoro COCTaBa, TeMnepaTyp~i n ~aBJ~e~ga.
dients de pression et de temperature. La porosit~ primaire HepBnqHaa nopHcTOCT~ ~y~tLUe Bcero coxpanaeTca ~o
tend ~ &re bien pr&erv& dans les gr~s riches en grains sta- rsly6~nbi OT 3 ~IO 4 KM Z r~ecqaHnCTblX OTnO)KeUmtX. C
bles (p. ex. dans les ar&ites quartziques) jusqu')t une profon- 6oa~mo~ ~oaefi npnMecn CTa6H~IbHbIX KOM1]OHeHTOB,
deur de 3 ~i 4 km. Plus bas, la perte de porosit~ s'acc~l~re en KaK Hanp. : KBapI~-apeHtITa. I l p o ~ e c c ~ paCTBOpenrL~ nO~
raison des ph&nom~nes d'impressionnement. Dans ces con- BO3}~eI~ICTBHCM ]~aBJIeHI4~ OTBeTCTBeHHI~I 3a I]OHH)KeHHe
ditions profondes, les pores primaires et secondaires adja- rIOpIICTOCTH nopo~ C ray6rmofi. IIpn aTOM, Ka)KeTC~I,
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 245

qTO BTOp~IqHble n nepBi,IqHble Me:,KsepnOBblenopOBble serve also to be studied as a theoretical academic dis-
npocTpaHcTBa B noneB~iX m n a T a x 6onee CTa6HJIbSbl, cipline.
qeM nepB!~IqHt,ie IIOpOBblenpocTpaHCTBaB KBapI~ax. In sedimentary basins loose sediments are lithified
by processes involving compaction, dissolution of
Introduction
grains and precipitation of cement. Unstable clastic
In the last 10 to 15 years there has been an consider- grains dissolve and more stable authigenic minerals
able interest in diagenetic processes and their influ- precipitate. If the diagenetic processes take place in a
ence on the properties of reservoir rocks. It has been semi-closed system (i. e. the flux of porewater through
realized that the porosity, permeability and other re- the rocks is too low to supply or remove much solids
servoir properties are the result of both primary de- in solution except by diffusion) then the con~lposition
positional facies and diagenetic alterations. Successful of the precipitated phases must correspond closely to
prediction of reservoir quality therefore depends on the dissolved minerals inside a relatively large volume
the understanding of diagenetic reactions and their of rock. Some mineral reactions are isochemical,
controlling factors. The importance of clastic diagene- others require a supply of ions either from within the
sis to petroleum geology, particularly to reservoir volume of sediment or from outside (Table 1). The de-
geology, has served as a very strong driving force for gree of transport of solids in solution becomes a very
research in this field. The processes involved in the important control on diagenetic reactions. It is
transformation of loose sediments into solid sedi- therefore very important to try to quantify the flow
mentary rocks are, however, fundamentally import- rate and the total flux of porewater in sedJ[mentary
ant geological processes in their own right and de- basins.

PRECURSOR SUPPLIED OR TYPE OF


PHASE REMOVED IONS TEMPERATURE CEMENT
(DISSOLVING) THROUGH POREWATER RANGE (PRECIPITATED)

Amorphous silica 60-800C Quartz


and 0pal CT

Quartz
(Mainly by pressure IO0-150Oc Quartz
solution)

Feldspar - Na+, - K+ 20-i00~ Kaolinite

K.Feldspar + Na+, - K+ > 65 ~ Albite

Aragonite and 20-50~ Low-Mg-Calcite


high Mg-Calcite sparry

Fine grained 60-70~ Lew-Mg-Calcite


low Mg-Calcite Poikilotopic

Smectite + K+ 50-100~ lllite+Quartz

K.Feldspar + 120-130~ Illite+Quartz


Kaolinite

Table 1. List of common diagenetic reactions in sandstones and their temperature range. The reactions are kinetically controll-
ed. Some reactions are nearly isochemical o~hers require supply or removal of ions in solution.
246 K, I~]ORLYKKE,M, ]~AMM& G. C. SAIGAJ-

The average rate of porewater flow related to com- The flow rate and total flux of pore water in sedi-
paction is easily shown to be too low to transport mentary basins and its capacity to transport solids in
significant amounts of solids in solution (BJORLYKKE, solution is an important parameter, but difficult to
1979). Meteoric water flow can achieve very much quantify. We must, however, try to put some con-
higher porewater fluxes and is particulary important straints on different possible types of porewater flow
in relation to dissolution of feldspar and carbonate in in sedimentary basins even if they are relatively crude
sandstones. at this stage.
Meteoric porewater flow is closely linked to the Pore water in sedimentary basins is driven by fluid
paleogeography and tectonic uplifts around the basin potential gradients (DAHLBERG, 1982), and there are
and also to the continuity and geometry of sandstone several different types of driving forces for such flow:
bodies. Diagenetic studies should therefore always, 1) Reduction in porosity with depth due to mechani-
when possible, be carried out in combination with cal and chemical compaction
facies analyses and stratigraphic and structural 2) Density gradients due to differences in salinity or
information. temperature i. e. thermal convection
A reconstruction of the diagenetic history of sedi- 3) Ground water head above sea level. This type of
mentary rocks depends, in addition to mineralogical flow will drive meteoric water into the basin, par-
data, very much on the accuracy of subsidence and ticu[arly in confined aquifers, and try to establish
burial curves and temperature data. Such information an isostatic equilibrium between meteoric water
is difficult to obtain from outcrop samples, and the and more saline connate pore-waters
diagenetic processes which take place during uplift 4) Mineral reactions involving dehydration or hydra-
may complicate the interpretation of the burial tion
history. Offshore sedimentary basins are particulary 5) Displacement of porewater by hydrocarbon
well suited as laboratories for diagenetic studies since phases.
the burial and temperature-pressure data are generally If we use a sedimentary basin with homogeneous
more accurate. Often the present burial depth and (isotropic) sediments as a model and assume that the
temperature are the maximum to which the rocks sedimentation rate is constant, the upward flow of
have ever been subjected. Particulary when we have pore-water equals the sedimentation rate (fig. 1). This
similar reservoir rocks buried to different depths and means that as long as the porosity, depth function is
temperatures, we can construct rather detailed sets of constant, there is no upwards flow of porewater in re-
constraints for both mechanical compaction and che- lation to burial depth. In other words the sediments
mical dissolution precipitation processes. Such data are sinking through a column of pore-water and the
wii1 form an important part of the basis for quantita- pore-water remains stationary relative to depth.
tive modelling of diagenetic processes and prediction In nature, sedimentary basins are heterogeneous
of reservoir quality. and filled with sediments having different permeabilb
ties. Therefore, the flow of compaction driven water is
rather complex and tends to be focused through the
Fluid flow in sedimentary basins
more permeable sediments. However, taken as an
Porewater flow in sedimentary basins is a very im- average for the whole basin, the above generalizations
portant parameter in diagenetic models. If we assume are true. It is also important to keep in mind that the
a closed system with stationary porewater between total upwards flow of pore-water, below the reach of
the grains, the transport of solids in solution is limit- meteoric water flow, is limited to the volume of water
ed to diffusion processes. In uniform lithologies, like buried within the sequence. Porewater analyses from
sandstones and shales with similar mineral composi- sedimentary basins frequently show rather distinct
tion, the gradients in porewater composition would gradients in composition and salinity (TDS) suggest-
be small assuming that the porewater approaches ing that the water is stratified in a way which is
equilibrium with the minerals, thus limiting the dif- incompatible with upwards flow of pore-water
fusion rate. Around evaporites, diffusive transport, (DICKEY, 1979; MANHEIM, 1967; MANHEIM &
however, will be very significant because of the high PAULL, 1981). The salinity gradients above evaporities
gradients in the concentration of dissolved solids are more suggestive of diffusion control. Similarly, in
particulary NaCI and KC1. A theoretical diagenetic the North Sea we find such salinity stratification.
system with stationary porewater can be modelled There is also a trend showing heavier oxygen isotopes
relatively easily and the diagenetic processes will with depth in the clastic reservoirs (EGEBERG &
essentially be functions of the initial mineral compo- AAGAARD, 1989; fig. 2). The fact that some of the
sition, temperature and net overburden stress. shallow reservoir sandstones in the North Sea have a
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 247

GROUND WATER

ING.
b/RATE.
REACTION

1) LOW FLOW RATES


2) HIGHER MINERAL/WATER REACTION
RATE (HIGHER TEMP,>60-70"C)
3) PORE WATER CLOSE TO EQUILIBRIUM
WrrH MINERAL PHASES.

Fig. l. A) Schematic presentation of two principally different types of pore water flow: 1) Meteoric water flow into sedi-
mentary basins, 2) Pore water driven by compaction. Meteoric pore water flow is characterized by relatively high flow rates as
compared to pore water flow driven by compaction and is being recharged by ground water on land areas. Due to low tempe-
ratures and equilibration between pore water and silicate minerals is very slow and pore water may remain undersaturated
with respect to feldspar and mica and supersaturated with respect to quartz for a long flow path way. Water flow driven by
compactional processes is much slower and of the same magnitude as the sedimentation rate.

0 Porosity tion can only take place if it is at least 300 m thick


and does not have any permeability barriers like
shales. Modelling of porewater flow in sand/shale se-
quences has shown that the conditions for Rayleigh
convection are rarely met in natural sedimentary se-
quences (BJORLYKKE et aL, 1988). In the case of
sloping isotherms the situation is always unstable but
3kin sandstone the rate of non-Rayleigh convection depends on the
thickness of the high permeability layer and the slope
Average flow through of the isotherm (fig. 3). Thermal convection is
sand stone : probably most important in the case where we have
relatively steep isotherms, e. g. around igneous and
Depth -10~ cm~cm 2 in 1.5.10' years hydrothermal intrusions, salt domes etc. The fact that
Average flux: < 10-3era/year we often find rather well defined gradients in the
Fig. 1. B) In the idealized case where the porosity-depth composition of the pore water in sedimentary basins
curve remains constant during sedimentation there is no (DICKEY, 1979; MANHEIM & PAULL, 1981; FISHER,
upwards movement of pore water relative to burial depth 1982) suggests that large scale convection is not an
and the sediments are subsiding tbmugb a column of water active process, because these gradients could not bare
(from BJ~RLYKKEet al., 1988). been maintained if influenced by convective pore
water circulation.
formation water which is less saline than sea water Flow of meteoric water into sedimentary basins has
and show more negative 8~80 and 8D values (0 to - 6 proven to be more important and widespread than
and - 2 0 to -40%0 vs. SMOW, respectively, EGEBERG realized earlier. Drilling on the continental shelves
& AAGAARD, 1989) also argues against any major has documented that meteoric water can penetrate to
upward flow of porewater. considerable distances in the shelf (CLAYTONet al.,
Density gradients in porewater are related to chan- 1966; GLESKES, 1981; MANHEIM &PAULL, 1981). Ana-
ges in salinity or to the thermal expansion of water. lyses of formation water in reservoirs in the N o r t h
The thermal expansion of water will produce a re- Sea indicate that it is of meteoric origin, but modified
verse density gradient with depth and may set up con- by mixing with and diffusion from more saline waters
vective flow (WOOD & HEWETT, 1982, 1984; and (EGEBERG & AAGAARD, 1989). In the N o r t h Sea
DAvIs et al., 1985). For thermal convection to occur, meteoric water was recharged into the shallow marine
however, a critical Rayleigh number must be exceed- Jurassic reservoir rocks shortly after deposition and
ed if we have horizontal isotherms. In a sandstone also when the reservoirs were uplifted and exposed as
bed with 1 darcy permeability, the thermal convec- islands in Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous times
248 K. BJORLYKKE,M. I~.AMM8C G. C. SAIGAL

OXYGEN ISOTOPES; VS BURIAL DEPTH


SANDSTONE RESERVOIRS OFFSHORE N O R W A Y

9 mmm

E%"
v-.~
~g
ao
<
r7
D
m 2

r i T------I-----'7--V~
- 10 -8 -6 -4 --2 0 2 4

180 IN PORE WATER


Fig. 2. Isotopic analyses of formation water from North Sea oil fields showing an increase in 8180 (SMOW) with depth (fro
EGEBERG and AAGAARD, 1989).

~ ~ SANDST.
PERM.
10DARCY
SILTST.10M SILTST.10M
o PERM.
PERM.0.1DARCY

1
o
.r-
0.01DARCY~ j SANDST.
PERM.
10 DARCY

Ah=0.i Ah=0.1
n = 0.001 n = 0.01

SANDST.
PERM,
3Z 1 DARCY
,..,, SILt'ST.1M SHALE0,'~M
10"3DARCY .ANDSTI' ~
PEDARCY
RMS i PERM'10"SDARCY

!2!i,%?.~o.o.o~176176176
~o.~
Ah=0.001 ~h=10 "4
11=0.001 n=lO-'5
Fig. 3. Computed flow lines due to thermal convection with horizontal isotherms in a model with layers of different per-
meability. ~ h is the ratio between the thickness of the layers and n is ratio between the permeabilities of the layers. We see
that even very thin (0.1-1 m) low permeability layers like shales (0.01 mD) will separate potentially large convection cells.
For thermal convecuon to occur in a layer critical Rayleigh number has to be exceeded. For 1 Darcy permeability the mini-
mum thickness of the sand layer is 330 m and for 0.1 Darcy permeability it has to be at least 1000 m (from
BJ~RLYKKEet al., 1988).
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 249

GAMMA ALPHA
Oseberg Field.
CRETACEOUS
Campanian
a Cenomanian
E C R E T A C E O U S LINCONF
! Mid V o l g i a n

base Oxfordian
T OP B R E N T G R O U P

BASE BRENT GROUP

iensbachian
(Top Cook)
~emurian
(Top Slatfjord)
~murian ( B a s e N a n s e n )
tian (Top Corm)

2. Base U p p e r N e s s c o a r s e n i n g u p w a r d s e q u e n c e
3. Near Top Middle Ness coal sequence
4. Base Ness (Top E t i v e )
5. M a j o r f a c i e s c h a n g e s in N e s s Nipen, 1 9 8 7 .
Fig. 4. Typical trap formed by rotated fault block and uplift in Upper Jurassic time (NIPEN, 1987). The age of the onlapping
sediments show that the top of this structure was subjected to erosion and non-deposition during most of the Cretaceous
period. It was probably exposed as an island during much of that period.

as a result of tectonic rotation of listric fault blocks horizon. Thus, the groundwater will be able to give
(fig. 4; BJORLYKKE, 1983). The head of the meteoric off protons and leach silicate minerals like feldspars
water, which is a function of the tectonic uplift relati- even after it is buffered with respect to carbonate.
ve to erosion and sea level changes, may help to Analyses of ground water with relatively long resi-
model meteoric water flow deep into sedimentary dence time show rather low Na + and K + concentra-
basins (HARRISON et al., 1987; BETHKE et al., 1988). tion indicating that the water is still undersaturated
It is very difficult to estimate the flow rates and total with respect to feldspar (HEM, 1985; table 2).
flux of meteoric water but there is no theoretical
limit to the total flux as the reservoir is constantly Carbonate cements
renewed by rain water. The flow rates are probably
several orders of magnitude higher than that of com- Carbonate cements are common in clastic reser-
pactional water (G~I~ES, 1987). The flow in aquifers voirs and make up low porosity and permeability lay-
pinching out into mud will depend on the rate of out- ers or lenses that serve as barrier to fluid flow. Their
let. Even though the mud has relatively low perme- importance in reservoir modelling has been a strong
ability the outlet may be significant as the total flow incentive to try to understand the factors that control
is a function of the surface area of the sandbody. the distribution, timing of dissolution, and precipita-
Also, leaching potential of meteoric water is en- tion of carbonate cements.
hanced when it mixes with seawater or basin brines. The sources of carbonate cements are:
Mixing corrosion is particularly important for car- 1) Biogenic sources (calcareous fossils).
bonate minerals (for details, see BfDGLI, 1964; 2) Early marine cements, aragonite or high Mg-cal-
BACK et al., 1979; DREYBODT, 1981a and b). cite (low Mg-calicite in fresh water deposits).
CURTIS (1983) argued that meteoric water was not 3) Precipitation of CaCO3 derived from silicate
capable of causing much subsurface leaching since the minerals (i. e plagioclase and zeolites) and organic-
groundwater tends to be neutralized in the soil pro- ally derived carbon.
file. It is true that groundwater relatively rapidly Sandstones rich in clasts from volcanic or basic
approaches equilibrium with respect to carbonate, igneous rocks represent a source of Ca 2+ for the
but may remain undersaturated with respect to silica- growth of carbonates (BoLEs & RAMSEYER, 1987).
te minerals like feldspar for a long time. The ground Sandstones like the Brent Formation of the North
water will often have high CO2 content from the soil Sea, however, contain mostly sodic plagioclases
250 K. BJg,RLYKKE,M. RAMM& G. C. SA1GAL

SAMPLE I 2 3 4 5
CONSTITUENT (mg/l)

Silica (SiO 2) 20 12 26 7.9 23


Aluminium (AI) - 1.2 1.2 0.6 -
Iron (Fe) 2.3 2.9 i0 ii 4.8
Manganese (Mn) 0.00 - - 0.32 -
Calcium (Ca) 126 2.7 8.8 8.4 136
Magnesium (Mg) 43 2.0 8.4 1.5 35
Sodium (Na) 13 35 34 1.5 960
Potassium (K) 2.1 1.7 2.9 3.6
Bicarbonate (HC03) 440 lO0 65 30 249
Sulfate (S04) 139 5.6 71 5.9 1260
Chloride (CI) 8.0 2.0 2.0 1.8 734
Flouride (F) 0.7 0.i 0.3 0.i -
Nitrate (NO3) 0.2 0.6 0.0 0.4 7.5

pH 7.6 7.4 6.4 6.3


Temperature (~ 13.3 22.2 14.4 17.2

i Ohio, USA, Water from glacial outwash; depth 35.7 m.


2 Tennessee, USA, Water from the Wilcox Formation; depth 400 m.
3 Tennessee, USA, Water from the Chattanooga Shale; depth 4.4 m.
4 Missouri, USA, Water from the Tuacaloosa Formation; depth 64 m.
5 North Dakota, USA, Water from the Dakota Sandstone; depth 187 m.

Table 2. Analyses of meteoric water from ground water wells in the U. S. A. (from Hem, 1985). Note that even at 400 m the
pore water in the Wilcox Formation contains very low concentration of solids in solution. Very low sodium and potassium
concentration show that pore water is undersaturated with respect to feldspars but probably in equilibrium with carbonate.
Recalculations of pCO2 pressures from pH and alkaiinity values show that the potassium concentration could have in-
creased from 1.7 rag/1 to about 40-50 mg/1 before apporaching saturation with respect to K-feldspar.

which can supply only a very limited amount of temperature of carbonate precipitation can be calcu-
Ca ~§ We, therefore, consider carbonate diagenesis in lated. This assumes that the carbonate precipitating
such sandstones essentially to represent redistribution porewater was similar to the present formation water.
via dissolution and precipitation of the same volume If on the other hand we constrain the temperature of
of carbonate (SAIGAL& BJg)RLYKKE, 1987). crystallization from independent data like fluid inclu-
Isotopically, carbonate cements usually display a sions or bottom hole temperatures, the isotopic com-
wide range of ~1~C values representing biogenic frac- position of the porewater can be calculated. Poikilo-
tionation in the different types of diagenetic environ- topic calcites from reservoir sandstones usually have
ments (IRWIN et al., 1977). Oxygen isotopes show a 8180 values within a rather narrow range (-10 to
pattern which is easier to interpret. Early marine -13%o PDB) (IRWIN & HURST, 1983; SAIGAL &
cements have values close to zero while the calcite BJORLYKKE, 1987). In shallow fields like the Draugen
precipitated at shallow depths during meteoric water field at Haltenbanken, offshore Mid-Norway, where
flushing will have negative values. With increasing the Upper Jurassic reservoir sandstone has probably
burial depth, temperature fractionation wilt also pro- not been exposed to more than 60-70 ~ 8*80 va-
duce more negative 8180 values. When we know the lues for the poikilotopic calcite cement cluster close
isotopic composition of the formation water, as in to -12%o (vs. PDB). This suggests that the porewater
several fields in the North Sea and Haltenbanken, the from which the cement precipitated must have had a
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 251

8'80 value more negative than -4%0 relative to the quartz cements depends on the availability of less
SMOW standard. Analyses of fluid inclusions in the stable silicate minerals or amorphous silica which is
poikilotopic cement also give temperatures of about significantly more soluble (150 ppm. at 25 ~ Sand-
60-70 ~ (SAIGAL & BJORLYKKE, 1987). More fine- stones containing biogenic or volcanogenic silica will
grained calcite cements in these reservoir rocks show develop early quartz cements when these phases dis-
less negative oxygen isotope values and have probably solve, often via opal-CT at temperatures of 50-70 ~
formed at shallower depth during fresh water flush- (KEENE, 1975). Sandstones that contain little or no
ing. Most of this cement is, however, dissolved and amorphous silica or highly unstable silicate minerals
the poikilotopic cement probably grew at the expense will not develop early quartz cement. This is the case
of this cement. In this case we are probably seeing dis- for the Jurassic reservoir rocks from the North Sea
solution of less stable carbonate phases and reprecipi- and Haltenbanken (BJg)RLYKKE &~ BRE?,,VDSDAL,
tation of more stable carbonate cement. Poikilotopic 1986). In the case of the Brent Formation in the
carbonate cement is probably the most stable low Mg North Sea much of the sand in the reservoir is loose
calcite phase, whose formation may be kinetically and poorly indurated down to a burial depth of
controlled and occurs at temperatures below 2.5 km (BJg)RLYKKE& BRENDSDAL, 1986; KITTILSEN,
60-70 ~ At greater burial depths down to at least 5 1988) because of lack of cementation. The onset of
kin, poikilotopic calcite is conserved with this iso- quartz cementation contributing significantly to po-
tope signature, suggesting that it does not easily dis- rosity reduction coincides with the beginning of
solve during further burial (except by pressure solu- pressure solution and stylotitization at 2.5 to 3.5 km
tion), because the dissolved carbonate can not be re- burial depth. At 3.5 to 4.5 km burial depth stylolites
precipitated as a more stable carbonate phase. are well developed and the degree of quartz cementa-
Carbonate diagenesis in sandstones seems to in- tion is rather extensive (BJ~DRLYKKEet al., 1986).
volve dissolution of the same volume of less stable Many attempts have been made to quantify the
phases and precipitation of more stable mineral pha- volume of quartz cement precipitated and the volume
ses. As a result, porosity may be redistributed with of quartz dissolved by pressure solution (BLATT,
only small amounts of loss or gain in net porosity. 1979). Cathodoluminescence pictures frequently
Commonly observed association of carbonate ce- show that much of what seems like intergranular
mented intervals with sequences deposited during pressure solution in ordinary optical microscope are
periods of low sedimentation rates or hiatus, particu- actually compromise boundaries between quartz
larly in shelf sandstones, suggests that the dominant cement, and only little of the clastic quartz core is
sources of carbonate cement are the biogenic and/or dissolved. However, contrary results have also been
early marine cements. found (MOUSEKNECHT, 1987). Houseknecht's classifi-
Carbonate cements in the Troll field (Norwegian cation of sandstones into silica importers and expor-
North Sea) have highly negative 8~3C values (< ters poses an important problem regarding the mobi-
--40%0) and 8180 values close to zero (KANTORO- lity of silica during diagnesis. Simple calculations sug-
WlCZ et al., 1987). This is an example of early cement gest that significant net supply or removal of silica
formed near the sediment surface during oxidation of from thick (< 100 m) sandstones would require orders
methane. These calcites have not dissolved or repreci- of magnitude higher flux of porewater than is likely
pitated at deeper burial. In the Agat field (Norwegian to be found in the compactionat regime of sediment-
North Sea), cements with 813C values close to zero ary basins (BJoRLYKKE, 1979). There seem to be two
and negative (3i~O values (-6 to -12%o) are found alternative explanations for this discrepancy between
(SAIGAI. & BJORLYKKE, 1987). This means that we observations and theoretical calculations.
have had dissolution of early carbonate phases and 1) The observed mass balances between pressure so-
reprecipitation of calcite at higher temperature, as re- lution and silica precipitation on a thin section
corded by the negative 8'80 values, without much scale is not representative of thicker sandstone
mixing with the isotopically light carbon. bodies. Pressure solution often occurs locally
along clay laminae and microstylolites and to a les-
ser degree between quartz grains. Interbedded silty
Silica cements shales and siltstones may also supply silica to adja-
cent sands (F{JCHTBAUER, 1974, 1983). It is diffi-
The solubility of quartz is only about 5 ppm at cult to quantify more than a minimum figure for
25 ~ (SIEVER et al., 1965) and 100 ppm. at 150 ~ the amount of solids dissolved along stylolites.
(MOREY at al., 1962). Silica is therefore not very 2) There are mechanisms for transport of solids in
mobile in the subsurface. Precipitation of early solution in pore water that we do not understand.
252 K. BJORLYKKE,M. RAMM& G. C. SAIGAL

Porewater flow driven by thermal convection is an fluence of meteoric water, requires a sink for potas-
alternative which has been discussed separately. The sium so that the porewater can remain in the kaoli-
concentration of silica in porewater at deeper burial nite field. The late kaolinite has been suggested to
(<80 ~ is controlled by the solubility of quartz form in following two ways:
(EGEBERG & AAGAARD, 1989) which puts important a) A1 released during albitization of calcic-plagio-
constraints on transfer of silica in solution. In our clase precipitates as kaolinite (GARBARINI& CAR-
opinion, thermal convection is the only mechanism PENTER, 1978; BOLES, 1982).
that can significantly modify the distribution of silica b) Increase in pH of A1 carrying acidic pore waters
in thicker sandbodies as this mechanism may precipi- (generated within organic-rich muds) due to dis-
tate and dissolve silica from the same volume of pore- solution of carbonates causes supersaturation
water. leading to kaolinite precipitation (CURTIS, 1983).
Kaolinite has been interpreted to be a by-product of
Clay cements albitization at temperatures greater than 100 ~
(BoLEs, 1982). In the presence of K-feldspar or other
The effects of authigenic clay minerals on reservoir
potassium bearing minerals the pore water is, how-
porosity and permeability are well established (e. g.
ever, likely to be in the stability field of illite rather
SOMMER, 1978; SEEMAN,1979; PALLATT et al., 1984; than kaolinite at these temperatures. In sedimentary
HURST & ARCHER, 1986). The understanding of clay
basins dominated by basic plagioclase and low K-feld-
mineral authigenesis is routinely applied to problems
spar content, kaolinite may form and also remain
of reservoir stimulation and enhanced recovery (AL-
stable at relatively high temperatures because of limit-
MON & DAVIES, 1981; tlEARN et al., 1984). The
ed potassium supply. Formation of kaolinite from
common clay minerals found in sandstone reservoirs
acidic pore water is limited by the amount of kerogen
include kaolinite, smectite, illite, chlorite, and mixed
present within source rocks. It is also important to
layer clays as interstratified illite/smectite and chlo-
keep in mind that acids generated during kerogen
rite/smectite. maturation would be neutralized by the carbonates
Detailed investigations of sandstone and shale dia-
and silicates present within the source rocks or along
genesis have been undertaken in many different sedi-
the migration pathway.
mentary basins which have provided an understand- Smectite is most common in sandstones derived
ing of the formation and transformation of clay ce- from volcanic sources and rare in arkosic and feld-
ments during burial diagenesis (e. g. HOWER et al.,
spathic sandstones. This is because smectite precipita-
1976; CURTIS, 1978; BJg)RLYKKEet al., 1986; BOLES & tes only when the porewater has a silica concentra-
FRANKS, 1979; FOSCOLOS & POWELL, 1980; BOLES,
tion significantly higher than the quartz saturation
1981; LONGSTAFFE, 1984 and 1986, MARKERT & AL- (AAGAARD & HELGESON, 1982). Precipitation is like-
SHAIEB, 1984; HELMOLD & KAMP, 1984; BETHKE & ly to occur in sandstones containing volcanic glass,
ALTANER, 1986). biogenic silica, or highly unstable silicate minerals.
Therefore, we may find smectite or I/S minerals in
Formation of Clays sandstones associated with evaporites which usually
Authigenic kaolinite forms at the expense of feld- contain amorphous silica (MARKERT & AL-SHAIEB,
spars and micas in pore waters with low ionic concen- 1984). Similarly, sponge spicules and chert are believ-
tration and low pH. The commonly observed perva- ed to have contributed the necessary silica for smec-
sive distribution of kaolinite in fluvial, near shore tire precipitation in the Frontier Formation, Wyom-
and unconformity related sandstone bodies suggests ing, U.S.A. (STONECIPHERat al., 1984). In the North
that kaolinite is formed in meteoric pore waters Sea smectite is an important diagenetic mineral in the
(BJORLYKKE, 1984; BJORLYKKE& BRENDSDAL, 1986; Paleogene Balder Formation which contains both
HURST & IRWIN, 1982). Oxygen isotope studies of volcanic and biogenetic silica (MALM et al., 1984).
authigenic kaolinite have also shown that it forms Chlorite is most common in sandstones containing
during meteoric water flushing (LONGSTAFFE, 1984 mafic volcanic clasts and clastic Fe-Mg rich silicates
and 1986). Stable isotope studies on associated carbo- (HELMOLD & KAMP, 1984), or it may form from dis-
nate cements that had formed simultaneously or after solution of syngenetic berthierine. Grain coating
the kaolinite in North Sea and Haltenbanken reser- chlorites differ from low-grade metamorphic chlori-
voirs also suggest that kaolinite formed during mete- tes in being the lb polymorph HAYES 1970; CURTIS
oric water flushing at temperatures <60 ~ (SAIGAL et al., 1985; WHITTLE, 1986). Grain-coating chlorite
&i; BJglRLYKKE,1987). Formation of kaolinite from has often been associated with near shore shallow
K-feldspar and mica at deeper burial without the in- marine settings (e. g. TILLMAN & ALMON, 1979;
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 253

STOREY, 1982; LONGSTAFFE, 1986) and tend to inhibit HOWER, 1979). If potassium is present, kaolinite then
the development of syntaxial quartz overgrowth transforms to illite:
(TILLMAN & ALMON, 1979). Therefore, early chlorite
Kaolinite + K-feldspar = Illite + Quartz + H20
cement may be a factor contributing to the preserva-
tion of primary porosity. However, when silica satu- In the Jurassic reservoir sandstones at Haltenban-
ration increases above a critical level as would be the ken, this reaction is evidenced by a marked increase in
case in the presence of amorphous silica, then it does the illite/kaolinite ratio in the fine fraction at 3.8 to 4
precipitate as microcrystalline pore filling cement as km burial depth (BJORLYKKEet al., 1986). In K-feld-
observed in Upper Cretaceous Belly River Forma- spar deficient sandstones, e. g. Jurassic sandstone of
tion of Central Alberta (SAIGAL, 1985). the Hild field, North Sea, kaolinite is stable at much
Illite forms at low temperatures in evaporite envi- higher temperature (150-160 ~ and 5.5 Km burial
ronments due to high K+/H + ratios in the pore depth; Lg)Ng)Y, 1986). In the absence of K+, kaolini-
water (HANCOCK, 1978a). In the Triassic and Permia te may be stable up to 200 ~ and then transforms to
sandstones of North Sea, illite is interpreted to be an pyrophyllite (VELDE, 1984). The fact that the trans-
early diagenetic mineral (HANCOCK, 1978a). In formation of kaolinite to illite depends on the local
sandstones deposited in marine and fluvial environ- availability of potassium minerals indicate tlhat pore
ments, illite is usually formed by replacement of water flow and vertical mixing of pore waters are in-
kaolinite (see below). sufficient to supply the necessary potassium from
other formations which contain K-feldspar, and the
Transformation of Clays pore water composition is normally in the stability
On progressive burial, the clay minerals may be- field of illite (EGEBERG & AAGAARD, 1989).
come unstable and begin to transform into more Dating of authigenic clays has recently been regard-
stable phases. The stability of smectite and mixed ed to have good potential towards better understand-
layer clays decreases with increasing temperature and ing of diagenesis in sandstone reservoirs. This; is being
depth. Smectite may transform to illite at 60-100 ~ done particularly to time the oil emplacement with
while kaolinite becomes increasingly unstable be- an important presumption that hydrocarbon charge
tween 120-150 ~ (HOWER et al., 1976; HOFFMAN shuts-off diagenetic processes. Relatively little pub-
& HOWER, 1979). The transformation of smectite to lished data is available along these lines. A recent
illite also depends on the concentration of potassium study by WALDERHAUG(1989) on Jurassic sandstones
in the porewater, which is a function of local availabi- from the Haltenbanken area suggests that quartz
lity of unstable potassium minerals like K-feldspar cementation may continue after oil emplacement.
(BOLES & FRANKS, 1979; HOWER, 1981): THOMAS (1986) and JOURDAN et al. (1987) carried
out K-Ar dating on authigenic illites from oil and
Smectite + K + = Illite + Quartz + Chlorite + H + water filled zones of Statfjord Formation, North Sea.
HOWER et al. (1976) demonstrated that illitization These data suggest that illite authigenesis had rapidily
of smectite and illitization and ordering of mixed stopped in the oil zone during Eocene time (40-44
layer I/S (between 65-95 ~ was accompanied by Ma), while it continued till Oligocene (28 Ma) in the
dissolution of calcite and potassium feldspar. A cor- water zone. However, more data is needed on similar
responding increase in the quantity of chlorite over sets of clays to establish whether authigenesis is really
the same interval suggested authigenesis. These trends stopped by the oil emplacement or continues within
were also observed by BOLES & FRANKS (1979) in the the water saturated part of the pores.
Eocene Wilcox sandstones; however, much of the re-
leased Fe and Mg was here shown to form ankerite. Secondary porosity
The percentage of illite in mixed layer clays in most
basins is found to increase rapidly at 60-80 ~ at Secondary porosity is defined as pore space that has
100 ~ they contain about 80% illite (PERRY & developed after deposition. The importance of secon-
HOWER, 1970; HOWER et al., 1976; DYPVlK, 1983). dary porosity has been emphasized by SCHMIDT &
Fe > oxides may dissolve and assist the transforma- MCDONALD (1979a, b), who also established criteria
tion of smectite in the presence of kaolinite as per the to recognize such porosity in thin sections. Their ex-
following reaction (VELDE, 1984): amples included mostly leaching of feldspar and car-
bonate cements in reservoir sandstones, and they in-
Smectite + Fe3+ + Kaolinite = Illite + Chlorite
terpreted this porosity to have been created by acid
As temperatures increase to 120-130 ~ kaolinite porewater at a burial depth of about 3 km. The acids
becomes unstable (HOWER et al., 1976; HOFFMAN & were supposed to have been derived mainly from
254 K. BJORLYKKE,M. RAMM& G, C. SAIGAL

maturing kerogen as also suggested by CURTIS 1978. in solution out of the reservoir sandstone. This inter-
The highest CO2 yield is, however, derived from pretation raises several questions regarding the solubi-
humic kerogen, while maturation of sapropelic kero- lity of silicates and carbonates and the fluxes of pore-
gen, the type we find in the Kimmeridge shale of the water in sedimentary basins as discussed above.
North Sea, will produce rather moderate amounts of If large quantities of solids were dissolved and trans-
CO2. Calculations show that even in the case of ported, one would expect to find similar volumes of
humic kerogen, the volume of carbonic acid generat- cements precipitated elsewhere in the sequence. There
ed is insufficient to increase significantly the porosity are very few examples where the porosity in a sand-
of the reservoir rocks. This has been well de- stone reaches a maximum at a depth corresponding to
monstrated by BJORLYKKE (1980, 1984) and source rock maturation and that the porosity in simi-
LUNDEGARD & LAND (1986) using the Frio Forma- lar sandstones above that is much lower. On the con-
tion of the Gulf Coast as an example. FRANKS & trary most porosity versus depth curves show a good
FORESTER (1984), however, maintained that sufficient negative correlation between porosity and depth in
CO2 can be generated from maturing shales provided most sandstones as discussed later in this paper. The
they do not contain any carbonate. Source rocks and deviations from the porosity/depth regression lines
adjacent organic poor shales frequently contain car- are probably due to primary sedimentary facies, pri-
bonate and silicate minerals like feldspar. The carbo- mary mineral composition and the effect of early
nate and feldspar would neutralize much of the acid meteoric water leaching. When feldspar is dissolved,
as it is generated. Such acidic pore waters would be how far away can the dissolved solids be transported
expected to preferentially leach sandstones in the by porewater flow or diffusion? BOLES (1984) found
immediate vicinity of the source rock and they would that the leaching of plagioclase is balanced by the pre-
not be able to preserve their acidity along a long mi- cipitation of kaolinite on thin section scale in the Ste-
gration path unless they travel through fractures. vens sandstone, San Joaquin Valley, California. In
However, fractures would preferentially be hydrocar- other cases, there seems to be rather strong petrogra-
bon saturated and there is no evidence of selective phic evidence that the mass of minerals dissolved can
flow of acid porewater along fractures. not be accounted for by authigenic minerals. Such es-
SURDAlVl et al. (1984) have proposed that organic timates are, however, very difficult particularly at a
acids, such as carboxylic acids, are responsible for the somewhat larger scale.
leaching of feldspars and carbonates in sandstones and In SCHMIDT & MCDONALD'S (1979a) model the
for complexing aluminum and silica in solution in formation of secondary porosity was linked to the
the pore water. Their experimental work shows that maturation of source rocks and was interpreted to
aluminum and silica are only soluble at very low pH. have taken place at relatively deep burial at approxi-
The pH of pore water is, however, buffered by the car- mately 3 km depth. BURLEY (1986) also considered
bonates, feldspars, and clay minerals. Recalculations the formation of secondary porosity during deeper
of the pH from formation water samples show pH burial related to acids released from source rocks. In
values from 5-7. In this FH interval, silica and alu- the North Sea and at Hakenbanken it can, however,
minum is not very soluble according to the same la- be demonstrated that even in the shallowest reservoirs
boratory experiments. which have not been subjected to burial deeper than
SCHMIDT & McDoNALD (1979a) assumed that 1.5-2.0 km, the secondary porosity has formed due
most of primary porosity is lost by processes related to feldspar and carbonate leaching (BJORLYKKEet al.,
to burial diagenesis before the development of secon- 1986). The oilfields in the Viking graben normally do
dary porosity. In their model the secondary porosity not show a great deal of difference in the degree of
was taken to represent net gain in the overall porosity leaching below and above the oil/water contact. If we
of the sandstone. The depth at which the creation of accept that the leaching had to occur prior to the oil
the secondary porosity occurs was characterized by migration, then it must have taken place at relatively
significantly higher porosity than in both immedia- shallow depth. In the Statfjord field the oil emplace-
tely over- and underlying sandstones. The zone of cre- ment is estimated to have taken place at about 1500 m
ation of secondary porosity was therefore thought to burial depth (KITTILSEN, 1988). If the leaching of
represent a level of optimum reservoir quality and feldspars is associated with migration of hydrocar-
was identified as an exploration target. Several other bons up to reservoir rocks at relatively shallow burial,
authors (eg. McBRIDE, 1977; LOUCKS et al., 1977, this implies a rather long migration pathway from the
1980; LINDQUIST, 1977) are also of the opinion that source rock and one would think that acid porewater
during the formation of secondary porosity much of would have been neutralized before reaching the re-
the dissolved feldspars and carbonates are transported servoir rock. Recently, it has become increasingly
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 255

clear that petroleum migrates in a separate phase and 6) Leaching of feldspar in the Brent Group, is facies
is not normally associated with a high flux of pore selective and is higher in the delta front sand of
water (ENGLAND et al., 1987). This is supported by the Etive Formation than in the crevasse splay fa-
the fact that the formation water in the shallower re- cies of the Ness Formation (NEDKVITNE, 1987).
servoirs in the North Sea is characterized by low sali- Diagenetic evidence of porewater flow such as
nities and low 8180 values and probably represent a leaching of feldspar and precipitation of kaolinite can
modified meteoric water (EGEBERG & AAGAARD, be used to indicate degree of communication between
1989). The salinity and the 8180 values in the forma- sandbodies. Shelf sands which are isolated from
tion water tend to increase with depth, and this sug- groundwater flow because of isolation within muddy
gests that there is very little vertical mixing and that facies, will not be subjected to meteoric water
the porewaters in sedimentary basins are in a broad flushing. The Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks in the
sense stratified with respect to salinity and isotopic Ula and Fulmar Fields in the North Sea exemplifies
composition and that large scale convective flow does this. These reservoir rocks contain very little diagene-
not taken place. (BJC)RLYKKEet al., 1988). This puts tic kaolinite and there is little evidence of significant
very important constraints on our models for mass late diagenetic development of secondary porosity in
transfer in sedimentary basins. these fields.
The following observations suggest that most of the
secondary porosity observed in Jurassic reservoir
Porosity reduction in a subsiding basin
rocks of the North Sea is formed at relatively shallow
burial and is associated with meteoric water flow: Porosity of siliciclastic sediments is observed to
1) Leached feldspar, secondary porosity and authi- decrease with increasing burial depth, a fact which is
genic kaolinite are also found in the shallow reser- shown by seismic velocities, well logging data and by
voirs such as the Draugen Field and the Troll field direct porosity measurements on core samples. Three
at only 1.5-1.7 km burial. Their present depths of major diagenetic processes are contributing to the
burial is the maximum depth they have ever expe- general loss of pore volume during burial; mechanical
rienced. The bottom hole temperature, 60-70 ~ compaction, chemical compaction and cementation.
is most probably also the maximum temperature Mechanical compaction is induced by
to which these rocks have ever been subjected. net stress (geostatic pressure - pore pressure). The
2) Evidence of early formation of secondary poro- bulk volume reduction is due to reorientation, cleav-
sity is also found in the oil-saturated zone of the age and facturing of brittle grains, and pseudo-plastic
reservoirs where the oil was emplaced relatively deformation of ductile grains.
early at shallow burial (< 1.5-2 km, e. g. Statfjord Chemical compaction results from
field and Oseberg Field) suggesting that the leach- dissolution of grains at their points of contacts, fie-
ing occurred early. quently associated with precipitation on free surfaces
3) Several of the shallower reservoirs such as in the of adjacent grains. Chemical compaction is generally
Draugen field (at Haltenbanken) and in the Troll induced by vertical lithostatic stress producing hori-
field (in the North Sea) are characterized by for- zontal stylolites, but may also result from nearly ho-
mation water with low salinity and negative 8180 rizontal stresses in tectonically active basins. Mica and
values (-4 to -6%0 SMOW) which probably re- clay laminae seem to enhance dissolution, and clay
present modified meteoric water. This suggests laminae often develop into stylolites (GJELDSVIK &
that the reservoir has not been flushed by water BJORKUM, 1984). Clay laminae along foresets or
from the deeper parts of the basin which tend to concentrated by bioturbation may develop into sty-
be more saline and isotopically heavier (EGEBERG lolites. The net result is the reduction of porosity and
& AAGAARD,, 1989). bulk volume due to closer packing of grains and
4) Reservoir rocks like those in the Fulmar and Ula cementation.
fields that represent more distal marine facies and C e m e n t a t i o n may solely be due to precipita-
were not uplifted and exposed to high fluxes of tion of authigenic minerals within interstitial pore-
meteoric water, do not show evidence of later space. In this case, the porosity is decreased without
leaching at deeper burial down to 3-4 km (JoHN- any associated loss in bulk volume. In contrast,
SON et al., 1985; HOME, 1987). mechanical compaction and pressure solution reduce
5) Correlation between present day burial depth and the bulk volume of the rock and cause irreversible
percent secondary porosity is to a large extent re- loss of porosity.
lated to the selective preservation of secondary When an isolated sandbody is buried to greater
porosity (NEDKVITNE, 1987). depths, mechanical and chemical compaction initiat-
256 K. BJORLYKKE,M. KaMM & G. C. SAIGAL

ed by the effective stress acting within the grain struc- lume in solution, its solubility increases with
ture, are the only processes that can cause porosity increasing pressure. A later work by RIECKE (1894)
reduction. During early diagenetic compaction (term- introduced a theory for pressure solution called the
ed immature stage by SCHMIDT & MCDONALD, Riecke's Principle*. Following Sorby's suggestion,
197%), rotation and fracturing entails closer packing WEYL (1959) stated that pressure solution will only
with consequent expulsion of pore water (BURST, occur if pressure enhances the solubility of the grains.
1976). At greater depths (during the semimature stage He further suggested that dissolution caused by
of SCHMIDT & MCDONALD, 197%), deformation of compressive stresses at grain-to-grain boundaries is
grains and pressure solution increase in relative im- followed by diffusion through an absorbed layer to
portance. free pores. This model was later supported by BOER
Because of original differences in initial texture the (1977) using thermodynamics.
behavior of clays and sands during compaction is de- As no single relation between rate or volume of
cidedly different. Clays and clay-rich sediments chemical compaction and pressure is found,
undergo continuous compaction with noteable poro- HANCOCK (1978b) argued that the term ,,pressure
sity reduction even during the first decimeter to a few solution, is misused. Pressure, or more precisely
meters of burial (eg. RIEKE & CHILINGARIAN 1974), stress, is, however, obviously involved, as the
while porosity reduction in sandstones due to re- principal development of sutured contacts occurs
orientation, fracturing and deformation of grains normal to the maximum stress.
require higher overburden stress. Nevertheless, re- It has been assumed that diffusion at the stressed
orientation of grains in sandstones start immediately grain boundaries is rate controlling during the inter-
after deposition. Roundness of grains plays an im- granular pressure solution (eg. WEYL, 1959; DURNEY,
portant role during this process as angular grains tend 1976; RUTTER, 1976; FLETCHER & POLLARD, 1981).
to resist reorientation. Hence, mechanical compac- RUTTER (1976) showed on this background that the
tion due to reorientation of grains is most effective displacement-rate at which two grains of a certain
for coarse, well rounded sands (FOCHTBAUER, 1967, composition interpenetrate is directly proportional
1979). Within the uppermost 1000 meters of burial, to effective normal stress across the contact, the wi&h
the porosity may be reduced from 40-50 % (at the of the surface, the solubility of the solute in the re-
surface) to 25-35 % in a matrix poor sand due to gion of precipitation, temperature, and inversely pro-
these processes (Fr2CHTBAUER, 1979). portional to the square of the instantaneous diameter
Further compression due to increasing overburden of the contact surface.
results in fracturing and bending of weak grains and A recent paper by TADA et al. (1987) describes an
dissolution at grain-to-grain contacts. Quartz rich alternative mechanism for intergranular pressure so-
sandstones have high grain strength and are less vul- lution where the diffusion rate may not be rate con-
nerable to mechanical grain deformation. Arkoses trolling. This mechanism combines plastic deforma-
and especially iitharenites have, however, lower tion and free face pressure solution and was first
framework stability and are more susceptible to de- shown to be dominant under experiments on halite
formation (NAGTEGAAL, 1978; FUCHTBAUER, 1979; crystals (TADA & SIEVER, 1986). TADA et al. (1987)
HAYES, 1979). Litharenites containing predominantly argue that even though the driving force for water
ductile rock-fragments can accordingly undergo a film diffusion is higher than that for plastic deforma-
total destruction of intergranular porosity during tion combined with free face pressure solution, the
mechanical compaction due to generation of a pseudo diffusion path is much larger for the latter mecha-
matrix (DICKINSON, 1970; NAGTEGAAL, 1978). nism. Consequently, diffusion rates may be 2-5 times
higher for the plastic deformation/free face pressure
solution than water film diffusion. Dissolution at
Pressure solution
grain contacts or precipitation in interstitial pore
Below 1.5-2 km depth of burial, ,,pressure solu- space can, thus, be rate controlling for pressure solu-
tion,, increases in importance relative to mechanical tion when temperatures are low or grain size is small.
compaction (FOCHTBAUER, 1967; NAGTEGAAL,
1978).
Petrographic evidence for intergranular pressure
solution and stylolitization has been accumulating *) According to this principle the solutions in the pore spa-
since the work of H. C. Sorby in the 19th century ces of the rock dissolve the portion of the crystal under
(SoRBY, 1863a and b). He described that if the cry- greatest stress. At the same time there is precipitation on the
stalline volume of a solid is larger than its partial vo- portion of the crystal subjected to the least stress.
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 257

Porosity depth distributions tial porosity of sands has recently been presented by
HOUSEKNECHT (1987).
Early published accounts of porosity loss with in-
Early work by FRASER (1935) and GRATON & FRA-
creasing depth of burial were given by ATWATER &
SER (1935) provided the basic concepts of how grain
MILLER (1965), FOCHTBAUER (1967) and GALLOWAY
size, sorting and geometric packing effect porosity.
(1974). These papers formed the basis for later works
For uniform spheres (regardless of size) porosity may
as they sorted out a number of factors that influence
range between 26 % (hexagonal closest packing) to
the porosity destruction. These factors are 1) geother-
47% (cubic packing). Well sorted, natural sands do,
mal gradient, 2) mineralogy and texture of the sand, 3)
however, not achieve the lower theoretical porosity of
pore fluid chemistry and 4) pressure gradients.
26% due to resistance to reorientation from angulari-
Attempts have been made to correlate porosity with
ty. Poorly sorted sands may, however, have signifi-
the integrated time and temperature (BLOCK et al.,
cantly lower initial porosities as interstices between
1986) and with temperature indices like TTI (Time
the larger grains are filled with smaller grains (BEARD
Temperature Index) or Ro (vitrinite reflectance)
& WEYL, 1973).
(GAUTIER and SCHMOKER,1987). An argument for
An extensive study of porosities in natural uncon-
such an approach is that reaction kinetics are the main
solidated sands was conducted by PRYOR (1973) who
controlling factors during compaction and cementa-
measured porosity, permeability and textural charac-
tion. Thus, in addition to net stress and temperature,
teristics of sands from pointbars, beaches, and eolian
time is probably also important (eg. PALMER & BAR-
sands. Beaches and eolian samples ranged in porosity
TON, 1987). Inorganic diagenetic reactions are, how-
between 39 and 56% and 42 and 55% respectively,
ever, probably less time dependent than maturation of
with average values at 49%. Point-bar sands ranged in
kerogen where we are dealing with much larger and
porosity from 17 to 42% with a mean of 41%. Most
more complicated molecules. Normally both tempe-
of the low porosity values within this group represent
rature and net stress increase with burial, hence, corre-
poorly to moderately sorted samples while well sorted
lation between depth of burial and porosity seem to
sands were found to have porosities higher than 40%.
be a sensible approach for modelling porosity destruc-
Excluding poorly sorted sands, there are only minor
tion within a sedimentary basin. However, presence
differences in the initial porosity of the san(is deposi-
of overpressured zones and variations in thermal gra-
ted in different environments as compared 1:o the va-
dients do influence the rate of porosity loss. As the re-
riation within each group. Other authors h~,ve repor-
lationship between porosity and depth in a given sedi-
ted porosities of modern sands from different environ-
mentary sequence also depends on diagenetic changes,
ments to range between 38 and 54% (ELLIS & LEE,
stress history, mean effective stress within the sedi-
1919; FRASER, 1935; HAMILTON & MENARD, 1956).
ments and its mineralogy, there exists no universally
Experimental studies have also been conducted by
valid porosity/depth function.
several workers in order to understand relationships
Since porosity is never reduced to zero before burial
between sand textures and porosity (eg. GAITHER,
into the metamorphic regime, it seems reasonable to
1953; ROGERS & HEAD, 1961; BEARD ~k~ WEYL,
anticipate that the porosity of a given sandstone decre-
1973). BEARD & WEYL (1973) mixed artificial sands
ases exponentially with depth (GAUTIER and SCHMO-
into six discrete sorting categories and eight grain size
KER, 1987). However, empirical linear correlation be-
classes. Resulting porosities were reported to rank be-
tween depth and porosity does illustrate the relation-
tween 27.9% for very poorly sorted sand and 42.4%
ship fairly well for depths ranging between one and
for extremely well sorted sands. Variations in mean
five km. (eg. ATWATER & MILLER, 1965; SELLEY,
grain size within the sand fraction were found not to
1978; LOUCKS et al., 1979, 1984; GLUYAS, 1985; BJOR-
affect the initial porosity significantly.
LYKKE et al., 1986). We therefore feel that linear mo-
In summary, environmental control on initial po-
dels, in the form : ~5 = ~1 - a-x, are most conve-
rosity is mainly limited to factors influencing sorting.
nient for porosity modelling within a sedimentary ba-
Initial porosity of well sorted sands is about 40-45%,
sin. Here ~ is porosity at depth x, a is the linear poro-
but may be lowered substantially in poorly and mo-
sity gradient and q)l is the intercept at x equal 0
derately sorted samples. The effect of low sphericity
(initial porosity).
and high angularity is to increase initial porosity.
Initial Porosity
The initial porosity of sands forms the starting
Linear porosity gradients
point for any discussion of porosity gradients in sand- The time dependent change in porosity of clays due
stones. A brief review of the literature describing ini- to application of an increment of isotropic stress was
258 K. BJORLYKKE,M. ~.AMM& G. C. SAIGAL

described by TAYLOR (1948) and shown to be a func- 4) Feldspathic arenites and arkoses: Dissolution of
tion of permeability, the density of pore fluid, the feldspars and precipitations of kaolinite does cre-
strain/stress ratio and the excess pore fluid pressure ate secondary porosity, but not necessarily with
caused by the change in vertical stress (for further any net gain in total porosity. The secondary po-
discussion see JONES &; ADDIS, 1985). rosity, however, has a higher preservation potential
In contrast to mudstones, the permeability in sand- than primary porosity. If the percentage of leach-
stones is sufficiently high to allow dissipation of pore- ed feldspars is less than 20-25% of the rock vo-
water as the isotropic stress increases. Assuming that lume, then the grain framework will not collapse
only mechanical grain reorientation and fracturing is and a large percentage of the secondary porosity
active during early stages of burial, the porosity loss will be preserved while most of the primary poro-
might be expected to be instantaneous and a function sity is lost by quartz overgrowth.
of the grain to grain stress only. Isolation within 5) Sandstones with early silica or carbonate cement
shales and buildup of over-pressure is then the only may stabilize the grain framework and reduce later
setting that may offset the general porosity gradient porosity loss by compaction.
in a sandstone with given mineralogical and textural Porosity depth gradients, previously reported in the
characteristics. If early pressure solution is active, as literature, have been plotted in fig. 5 against a loga-
suggested by PALMER • BARTON (1987), reaction rithmic age scale. In this figure linear porosity gra-
kinetics and temperature variations may cause also dients plot as single points. Average porosity mea-
some variations in the gradients. surements are also included. The figure includes both
The rate of chemical reactions increases with tem- reported linear porosity gradients and average poro-
perature as kinetic barrieres are more easily overcome. sity measurements for different units in single wells.
The effect of varying geothermal gradients on rate of For individual mean porosities, the porosity gradient
porosity loss was illustrated by GALLOWAY (1974). has been calculated by assuming initial porosity at 40
Galloway's data were used by SELLEY (1978), who %. It is evident from the figure that quartz arenites
estimated porosity gradients equal to -12.8% km and and subarkoses are generally less vulnerable to com-
-8.5% km for wells with geothermal gradients equal paction while the porosity in lithic arkoses and feld-
to 35 ~ and 25 ~ respectively (See figure spathic litharenites is more readily lost. This is in full
3 of Selly, 1978). agreement with the trends outlined by HAYES (1979,
figure 1). It is also indicated that there are no greater
trends toward higher preservation of porosity in
Effects of Mineralogy
Cenozoic than in Mesozoic sandstones.
It has already been outlined that framework
stability and resistance to compaction is a function of
Effects of Diagenesis
grain composition. We may therefore distinguish be-
tween some main categories of sandstones with After burial beneath the meteoric porewater re-
respect to their potential for preserving porosity with gime, the chemistry of porewater is controlled by the
burial. mineralogical composition of the sandstone. Water
1) Sandstones with high percentages of stable grains released from compacting shales or from dewatering
(i. e. quartz rich sandstones): Primary porosity of clay minerals is rapidly equilibrated as it enters ad-
will tend to be well preserved down to 3 - 4 km jacent sandstones and is not capable of significantly
burial depth. Pressure solution and stylolitization changing the overall chemistry of thick sandstones.
will tend to cause a rapid reduction in porosity Very thin, intensively leached zones at shale to sand-
between 3.5 and 4.5 km burial particularly if mica stone contacts may occur. MONCURE et al. (1984)
or clay seams are present. demonstrated this relation in a sequence from the
2) Sandstones containing less than 20-25% unstable Frio Formation. Within a zone of approximately one
grains: If the unstable grains contain rock frag- meter, an increase in secondary porosity and reaction
ments like basalt, schists or mafic minerals, the products such as kaolinite, chlorite and quartz is
grain framework will probably not collapse but shown. A non-equilibrium model with mass trans-
the unstable grains will form matrix through port and leaching within the meteoric regime is,
mechanical squeezing and authigenic minerals however, favored by low reaction rates and high flow
through dissolution and reprecipitation. rates (GIL~S, 1987).
3) Sandstones with more than 20-25% unstable Early development of secondary porosity in the
grains: The grain framework will collapse and po- meteoric porewater regime may influence the rate of
rosity is lost at moderate burial depth. porosity loss within the zone of mesodiagenesis.
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 259

15
E
D
Litharenites (Japan)

z
LU
|A Litharenites (Wyoming)

O 12 -
<~
n-"
Lithicarkose
"1-- ~ (Haltenbanken]
I--
ilL.
111 ArRose$
0 g
| G i(North Sea9
Haltenbanken]

Q
0 Arkoses (San JoaqulnValley)

0
0_
6 H 1~, ;ubarkoses
NorthSea *
F Haitenbankenl
|

~Quartz arenites
3
(NigerDelta)

0 I I I I i I I I
0.6 1.0 1./, 1.8 2.2 2.6

LOG ( A G E (Ma))
Fig. 5. Porosity depth trends versus age of reservoir sandstones. Estimated linear porosity gradients are plotted against the lo-
garithms of approximate age. Letters indicate porosity gradients reported in the literature. A: Upper Miocene lithic arenites
from the Eastern Pacific, (geothermal gradient; 35 ~ (GALLOWAY,1974; SELLEY,1978), B: Upper Miocene lithic areni-
tes from the Eastern Pacific, (geothermal gradient: 25 ~ (GALLOWAY,1974; SELL,Y, 1978), C: Miocene sublitharenites
fi'om the Gulf of Thailand, (geothermal gradient: 40-58 ~ (TREVENAand CLARK,1986). D: Miocene subarkoses from
South Louisiana (ATwATERand MtLLER, 1965), E: Oligocene subarkoses to lithic arkoses, Texas Gulf Coast (LOUCKSet al.,
1984). F: Eocene subarkoses to lithic arkoses, Texas Gulf Coast (LOUCKSet al., 1984). G: Jurassic arkoses and subarkoses,
Haltenbanken (this paper). H: Jurassic subarkoses and arkoses, North Sea (this paper). Hatched areas indicate clusters of
single mean porosities. For these observations porosity gradients are estimated by using initial porosities equal 40 %. Data are
adapted from NAGTEGAM.(i978), TIEH et al., (1986), RANGANATHANand TYE (1986), BJORLYKKEet al. (1986), LARESEet al.
(1984), NEDKVITNE(1987) and BJORLYKKEand BRENDSDAL,(1986).

Oversized pores created by leaching of framework Also early diagenetic cements within the sand-
grains may have a greater preservation potential than stone are likely to have a major impact on the later
primary inter-grain porosity (BJg)RLYKKEet al., 1986). porosity loss with depth. In a sandstone with early
The lack of nucleation sites on feldspar grains discou- cement, the stress is distributed over larger con-
rages quartz cementation in the neighborhood of tact areas, and the remaining porosity has a better
feldspars and tends to selectively preserve primary preservation potential. Clay lamina and micaceous
porosity (fig. 6). Pores surrounded only by quartz layers obviously enhance pressure solution caus-
grains will usually reduce their porosity faster due to ing growth of stylolites (GJELDSVIK & BJq)RKUM,
quartz cementation. It is, therefore, likely that during 1984). The resulting dissolved quartz reprecipitates
deep burial, greater amounts of porosity may be pre- and reduces the porosity in intervals between the
served in subarkoses than in pure quartzarenites. stylolites.
260 K. B]ORLYKKE,M. RAMM & G. C. SAIGAL

Frequency Histogram
Welt 15/9-5
0.15

0.12
0

:3
0.09
0
0.06
0
>

0.03
Fig. 6. Back scatter image showing selective preservation of a2
secondary porosity (SP) around significantly dissolved feld- 0
spar grain (F). Note extensive quartz overgrowth occluding 0 5 10 15 20 25
primary pores between quartz grains. Well no 7119/12-1 in
the western Barents Sea, depth 2750 m. Scale bar = 200 ~m. Porosity (%)
C o m p i l a t i o n of porosity gradients Normal probability plot
To plot porosity measurements against depth and Welt 15/9-5
99.9
apply a least-square fit, is a straight forward proce-
dure, easily carried out for a large number of data, 99
with nominal computer facilities. Some initial steps,
however are necessary in order to get a reasonable
i
U
95
picture of the porosity loss in sandstones. 80
o_
As wells are drilled, porosity and permeability
measurements are routinely obtained from the cored 50
intervals. Commonly, measurements are made on
20
three or four core-plugs from every meter. Within a -5
single unit, a wide scatter of porosity values is poss- E 1
ible due to variation in primary lithology and pre- L3
sence of early cemented intervals. As we are
0.1
interested in the porosity distribution in the
reservoir sandstone only, some procedure must be 0 5 10 15 20 25
followed in order to cancel effects from interlayered
low porosity zones. Porosity (%)
Figure 7 a - b show the distribution of porosity mea- Fig. 7. Distribution of porosity measurements from one
surements throughout the cored interval in the single formation in well 15/9-5 from the Sleipner field,
Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Some statistical para-
meters describing this distribution are presented in table 3.
Total number Depth Mean Mean Standard
of measurements interval depth porosity deviation N o r t h Sea well 15/9-5. The cored interval at about
3600 meter is of Middle Jurassic age and consists of
320 3525-3662 m 3592 m 16.2 % 5.3 very fine to medium grained, moderately to well
sorted sandstones. Several interbedded shales and
Median of porosity 75 85 95
(50 percentile) percentile percentile percentile
coal beds occur throughout the section. Some
statistical parameters for the whole population are
18,5 % 20.2 % 20.9 % 22,1% listed in table 3.
The histogram in fig. 7a shows a distribution with
Table 3. Statistical parameters for the porosity measure- a low porosity tail below 15%. The main subpopula-
ments in the Sleipner field (Norwegian North Sea) well tion (about 60% of the measurements), between 16
1 5 / 9 - 5. and 23%, shows a normal distribution (fig. 7b),
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 261

which is similar to the expected distribution in a ruination of each unit does, however, indicate that pri-
single sandstone (KRUMBEIN& GRAYBILL,1965, their mary textural properties (e. g. sorting) have a major
table 5.4). influence, as most interbedded sand/shale sequences
Two alternative procedures may be used in order to of marine or fluvial origin fall below the line. In the
obtain a value describing the mean porosity of the burial range between 1.4 to 2.6 km the porosity/
sand. depth correlation is good. However, between 2600
1) Find a cut-off value, above which porosities are and 4000 meter, there is more scatter in the porosity/
thought to be representative reservoir porosities depth trend. The intercepts of the regression lines are
(eg. 16% in this example) and then calculate the in good agreement with expected porosity for mode-
arithmetic mean for the remaining measurements. rate to well sorted sands.
2) Find another statistical parameter that can be Differences in the porosity/depth trends from the
assumed to give a good approximate value of the North Sea and the Haltenbanken area may be ex-
mean sandstone porosity. plained by different degree of overpressure. Only
We suggest that the 75 percentile value (the value slight overpressuring is reported in many of the wells
below which 75% and above which 25% of the mea- from Haltenbanken while many of the units recorded
surements fall) should be used. This value is easily from the North Sea are from significandy over-
read out from any normal probability plot or found pressured levels. The somewhat higher than expected
by use of simple computer programs. A major ad- intercepts of the Haltenbanken regression lines may
vantage is that a uniform procedure can be used for indicate that the porosity in sandstones in the Halten-
several populations, while problems caused by using a banken area has still not equilibrated after the rapid
subjectively selected cut-off value are avoided. subsidence in late Pliocene and Pleistocene. If this is
the case the magnitude of the porosity gradient can be
explained by assuming that temperature and reaction
Examples from the Norwegian
kinetics are influencing the rate of porosity loss. After
Continental Shelf
application of an increment of isotropic stress, the
The porosity distribution in cored intervals from a deep sandstones may have reached equilibrium
total of 18 wells from the Norwegian sector of the whereas the shallow ones have not.
North Sea (from the Sleipner, Gullfaks, Troll, Ose- Jurassic reservoir sandstones from the Barents Sea
berg, Veslefrikk, Huldra and Agat fields) and 11 wells differ in porosity distribution compared with the
from the Haltenbanken area is studied with respect to trends described from the North Sea and Haltenban-
regional porosity/depth trends. This data base con- ken. At depths between 2-3 kin, porosities are fre-
tains a total of 6618 porosity measurements which are quently found to be lower than 10%. This low poro-
divided into 44 lithologic units from the North Sea sity/depth ratio has been interpreted to be due to a
and 20 units from Haltenbanken. Linear regression rapid burial episode during early Paleogene :followed
lines are calculated using average and 75 percentile by major uplift during mid-Oligocene to Pliocene
values from the two areas. (BERGLUNDet al., 1986). The cored Jurassic sequence
Both the average and 75 percentile values from the in well 7119/12-1 exemplifies this relation (fig. 9).
Hattenbanken area yield good correlation (fig. 8a-b). Reservoir sandstone in this well consists of quartz are-
Only two units, containing interlayered sand/shale nites of marginal marine/alluvial plain and marine/
sequences of marine and fluvial origin repectively, coastal origin (OLAUSSENet al., 1984; LARESE et al.,
deviate considerably. The other units are all of marine 1984). Assuming that the porosity gradient before
to marginal marine origin and contain well sorted uplifting started was approximately the same as the
arkoses and subarkoses. The rate of porosity loss with present gradient at Haltenbanken, the uplift must
depth is rather high as compared to other areas with have been about 1.5 kin. The occurrence of stylolites
similar lithologies. The intercept is higher than would in this well (OLAUSSEN et al., 1984) similar to what
be expected when compared to initial porosities of we find in the Haltenbanken area at 4 km also suggest
modern sands. an uplift of about 1.5 km during Late Tertiary.
The porosity values from the North Sea show
poorer fit to the regression lines (fig. 8c-d). The units
Conclusions
are of Paleogene, Cretaceous and Jurassic age and
from a variety of environments. The scatter from the Clastic sediments are at the time of deposition a
regression lines seem to be equally large within units mixture of more or less mechanically and chemically
of the same lithostratigraphic sequences as between stable minerals. During diagenesis the sediments try
units of different age and environment. Closer exa- to attain a higher degree of thermodynamic and
262 K. BJORLYKKE,M. RAMM & G. C. SAIGAL

Mean Porosity vs. Depth, HaRenbanken. 75 percentile porosity vs. Depth, HaRenbanken.

Porosity (%) Porosity (%)


10 20 30 40 50 0 10 20 30 40 50
1.2 I I I I 1.2 J I I I I

O= Z,6,1-8.4 "X r .X
r= -0.911 r=-0937 /
1.6 r 2= 083 A 1.6 r2=0.88 ~/A

2.0 2.0
Z
2.4 2.4
= dcB c ~t cC

2.8 x 2.8
n
X
in B B C B
V
m 3.2
Y 3.2
m
E
E 3.6 x: 3.6
~-e
JC: Q_
--.4~---B 0
O- -~e--- B B B 121
4.0 4.0
8C
Jurassic
CC assic
4,4 -s-//8 B= Middle Jurassic
4.4 -8-/B : B MiddLe Jurassic
C C Lower Jurassic -a/---c C= Lower Jurassic
Fig. 8 a Fig. 8b

Mean P o r o s i t y vs. Depth , North Sea. 75 percentile porosity vs. depth, North Sea

P o r o s i t y (%) Porosity (%)


0 10 20 30 40 50 10 20 30 40 50
1.2 ~ ' I i 1.2 I I I I

1.6 ,,p=36.8-5.8.x r 41-6.0.X


r=-0.794 r= -0.804
1.6 r~=o.63 1.6 r 2:0.65 ~A C cCcCC

D
2.0- 2.0

2,4 2.4

2.8 ~==~== 2.8


X

A X
3.2 ~ , 3.2 1
m
r 1:13 ~3~DD B
E E 3.6
3.6 --_J DB D
..G
O. A: P a l e o c e n e a- ~D [eocene
o_ 4.0
4.0 -2~_~ B Cretaceous o p ,~, B Cretaceous
C Upper J u r a s s i c s?/L~__ C Upper Jurass,c
D Middle J u r a s s i c 4,4 / D Middle Jurassic
4.4
E Lower Jurassic E: Lower Jurassic
Fig. 8c Fig. 8d
Sandstone diagenesis and porosity modification during basin evolution 263

mechanical stability. Pure mechanical compaction is POROSITY (%)


a function of the grain strength and net stress (geo- o lO 20 30 ~o 60

static pressure - pore pressure) applied and is most 12oo J i i 1

effective at moderate depth. At greater depth mecha-


nical compaction is combined with chemical com-
paction in the form of mineral dissolution, deforma- 1600 /
tion at grain contacts and the formation of stylolites.
Mineralogically mature sandstones containing a
high percentage of both mechanically and chemically 2000

stable grains, experience a relatively slow rate of poro-


sity reduction by mechanical compaction during
shallow to moderate burial (<3 kin). At greater 2~00
depths, between 3 and 4 km, porosity loss is signifi-
cant due to pressure solution.
Transport of solids in solutions resulting in net in- 2800
crease or decrease in porosity is limited by the total t~
flux of pore water and the rate at which it achieves
equilibrium with surrounding minerals. Meteoric 3200
water has the greatest potential for leaching feldspars
and other chemically unstable minerals, because there u.l
.31 :
:
:
:

o_ I : .:
is no limit to the total flux and also because reaction 3600
A

rates between meteoric water and mineral phases are I : :"


I :. j
low (due to low temperature). On the contrary, I ? ?

compaction driven pore water can only locally pro- 4000


I.: .:
duce high flux, and is quickly neutralized by minerals E
due to higher reaction rates at higher temperatures.
Therefore, the compaction driven pore water has a .:: t/ ;':?
:"
LU /.400
, I
C~
rather limited potential to transport solids in solu-
tion. Diagenetic reactions during deep burial are
therefore probably nearly isochemical with respect to 10 20 30 ~0 50

elements that have low solubility e. g. silica and Fig. 9. 75 percentile porosities from the Barents Sea well
aluminum. Elements capable of forming more 7119/12-1 plotted against the 75 percentile regression line
soluble salts like Na + and C1-, may build up higher from the Haltenbanken area. Dotted lines indicate one stan-
concentration gradients particularly around evapori- dard error of estimate, a refers to the 75 percentile porosity
tes. Transport by diffusion may then become impor- from the marine Sto Formation (T2-5), b to the
tant. deltaic Normela Formation (T2-4) a* refers to the 75 per-
Thermal convection is probably only important centile porosity in the zone between 2760 and 2780 m in the
where we have relatively steeply sloping isotherms Sto Formation, showing enhanced porosities (OLAus-
SEN et. al., 1983).
like adjacent to igneous and hydrothermal intrusions
and salt domes. The fact that the transformation of
kaolinite to illite depends on the local availability of Leaching of Ca-rich silicates may contribute some
potassium minerals like K-feldspar, indicates limited Ca 2§ which combined with organically derived car-
circulation of pore water in sedimentary basins. Also, bon may precipitate calcite. Isotopic and fluid
increase in the salinity and 8180 values of pore water inclusion data of poikilotopic calcite from North
with depth suggest that pore water is to some extent Sea indicate that it formed at temperatures
stratified and there is limited upwards flow of pore below 60-70 ~ and remained stable during deeper
water relative to the rate of burial. burial.
Carbonate cement is for the most part derived Since the formation water in the shallower reser-
from unstable biogenic carbonates or early cement. voirs differ in composition from the pore water in

9 Fig. 8. Plot of porosity vs. depth for 1i wells from the Haltenbanken area (8c and 8b) and 18 wells from the Norwegian sector
of the North Sea (8c and 8d). In fig. 8a and 8c are averageporosities _+one standard deviation shown together with the classic
regression line for averagevalues. In fig. 8b and 8d are the 75 precentile value plotted while range bars show spread between
the median arid 95 precentile value.
264 K. BJQRLYKKE,M. RAMM & G. C. SAIGAL

deeper parts of the basin where hydrocarbons are torate are sincerely thanked for providing porosity data from
generated, migration of oil must have taken place the Norwegian sector of the North Sea and Haltenbanken.
along special pathways with high oil/water saturation G. C. Saigal wishes to thank Norsk Hydro, Saga, and Statoil
i. e. w i t h o u t involving much flow of water. for jointly funding his post-doctoral research position. He is
grateful to the Oil & Natural Gas Commission of India for
Acknowledgements
granting leave of absence. We wish to thank P. Aagaard, P. K.
Egeberg, J. E. Kittilsen, and T. Nedkvime for several helpful
This research has been supported by VISTA, a research discussions and suggestions during the preparation of this
cooperation between the Norwegian Academy of Science manuscript. B. L. Berg is thanked for analytical assistance
and Letters and Den Norske Stats Oljeselskap (Statoil). and preparation of figures. We also thank Drs. V. Schmidt
Support from Norwegian Research Council (NAVF) is also and H. Fiichtbauer for constructive comments in their
appreciated. Statoil and The Norwegian Petroleum Direc- review.

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