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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  05 Jun 2020

05 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Structural control on fluid flow and shallow diagenesis: Insights from calcite cementation along deformation bands in porous sandstones

Leonardo Del Sole1, Marco Antonellini1, Roger Soliva2, Gregory Ballas2, Fabrizio Balsamo3, and Giulio Viola1 Leonardo Del Sole et al.
  • 1BiGeA – Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Zamboni 67, 40126 Bologna, Italy
  • 2Laboratoire Géosciences Montpellier, Université de Montpellier, CNRS, Université des Antilles, Montpellier, France
  • 3Next, Natural and Experimental Tectonic Research Group, Department of Chemistry, Life, Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 157A, 43124 Parma, Italy

Abstract. Porous sandstones are important reservoirs for geofluids. Interaction therein between deformation and cementation during diagenesis is critical since both processes can strongly reduce rock porosity and permeability, deteriorating reservoir quality. Deformation bands (DBs) and structural-related diagenetic bodies, here named Structural and Diagenetic Heterogeneities (SDH), have been recognized to negatively affect fluid flow at a range of scales and potentially lead to reservoir compartmentalization, influencing flow buffering and sealing during production. The hydraulic behavior of DBs is not yet fully constrained, and it remains poorly understood also how diagenetic processes interact with DBs to steer fluid flow mechanisms and evolution. In this contribution we present two field-based studies from Loiano (Northern Apennines, Italy) and Bollène (Provence, France) that contribute to elucidating the structural control exerted by DBs on fluid flow and diagenesis recorded by calcite nodules associated with the bands. We relied on careful field observations and a variety of multiscalar mapping techniques (photography, string mapping, and drone aerial photography), integrated with optical, scanning electron and cathodoluminescence microscopy, and stable isotope (δ13C and δ18O) analysis of nodules cement. In both case studies, at least one set of DBs precedes and controls selective cement precipitation. Cement texture and cathodoluminescence patterns, and their invariably negative δ13C and δ18O value ranges, suggest a meteoric environment for nodule formation. In Loiano, DBs acted as low-permeability barriers to fluid flow and promoted selective cement precipitation. In Bollène, clusters of DBs restricted fluid flow and focused diagenesis in parallel-to-band compartments. Our work shows how low-permeability DBs in porous sandstones can actually affect fluid flow and localize diagenetic processes (in the shallow crust) that, in turn, could further enhance the sealing capacity of these structural features.

Leonardo Del Sole et al.

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Leonardo Del Sole et al.

Leonardo Del Sole et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study focusses on the impact of deformation bands on fluid flow and diagenesis in porous sandstones in two different case studies (Northern Apennines, Italy; Provence, France) by combining a variety of multiscalar mapping techniques, detailed field and microstructural observations, and stable isotope analysis. We show that deformation bands buffer and compartmentalize fluid flow and foster and localize diagenesis, recorded by carbonate cement nodules spatially associated to the bands.
This study focusses on the impact of deformation bands on fluid flow and diagenesis in porous...