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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof Jon Gluyas

Yuan, Guang-Hui, Cao, Ying-Chang, Gluyas, Jon, Wang, Yan-Zhong, Liu, Ke-Yu, Xi, Ke-Lai, Yang, Tian & Wang, Jian (2019). How important is carbonate dissolution in buried sandstones: evidences from petrography, porosity, experiments, and geochemical calculations. Petroleum Science 16(4): 729-751.

Author(s) from Durham


Burial dissolution of feldspar and carbonate minerals has been proposed to generate large volumes of secondary pores in subsurface reservoirs. Secondary porosity due to feldspar dissolution is ubiquitous in buried sandstones; however, extensive burial dissolution of carbonate minerals in subsurface sandstones is still debatable. In this paper, we first present four types of typical selective dissolution assemblages of feldspars and carbonate minerals developed in different sandstones. Under the constraints of porosity data, water–rock experiments, geochemical calculations of aggressive fluids, diagenetic mass transfer, and a review of publications on mineral dissolution in sandstone reservoirs, we argue that the hypothesis for the creation of significant volumes of secondary porosity by mesodiagenetic carbonate dissolution in subsurface sandstones is in conflict with the limited volume of aggressive fluids in rocks. In addition, no transfer mechanism supports removal of the dissolution products due to the small water volume in the subsurface reservoirs and the low mass concentration gradients in the pore water. Convincing petrographic evidence supports the view that the extensive dissolution of carbonate cements in sandstone rocks is usually associated with a high flux of deep hot fluids provided via fault systems or with meteoric freshwater during the eodiagenesis and telodiagenesis stages. The presumption of extensive mesogenetic dissolution of carbonate cements producing a significant net increase in secondary porosity should be used with careful consideration of the geological background in prediction of sandstone quality.