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Petrophysical properties of bioclastic platform carbonates: implications for porosity controls during burial

Abstract : This study is based on rock mechanical tests of samples from platform carbonate strata to document their petrophysical properties and determine their potential for porosity loss by mechanical compaction. Sixteen core-plug samples, including eleven limestones and five dolostones, from Miocene carbonate platforms on the Marion Plateau, offshore northeast Australia, were tested at vertical effective stress, View the MathML source, of 0–70 MPa, as lateral strain was kept equal to zero. The samples were deposited as bioclastic facies in platform-top settings having paleo-water depths of <10–90 m. They were variably cemented with low-Mg calcite and five of the samples were dolomitized before burial to present depths of 39–635 m below sea floor with porosities of 8–46%. Ten samples tested under dry conditions had up to 0.22% strain at View the MathML source, whereas six samples tested saturated with brine, under drained conditions, had up to 0.33% strain. The yield strength was reached in five of the plugs. The measured strains show an overall positive correlation with porosity. Vp ranges from 3640 to 5660 m/s and Vs from 1840 to 3530 m/s. Poisson coefficient is 0.20–0.33 and Young's modulus at 30 MPa ranged between 5 and 40 GPa. Water saturated samples had lower shear moduli and slightly higher P- to S-wave velocity ratios. Creep at constant stress was observed only in samples affected by pore collapse, indicating propagation of microcracks. Although deposited as loose carbonate sand and mud, the studied carbonates acquired reef-like petrophysical properties by early calcite and dolomite cementation. The small strains observed experimentally at 50 MPa indicate that little mechanical compaction would occur at deeper burial. However, as these rocks are unlikely to preserve their present high porosities to 4–5 km depth, further porosity loss would proceed mainly by chemical compaction and cementation.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 11:50:36 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 25, 2020 - 3:13:55 AM

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Delphine Croizé, Stephen N. Ehrenberg, Knut Bjørlykke, F. Renard, Jens Jahren. Petrophysical properties of bioclastic platform carbonates: implications for porosity controls during burial. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2010, 27, pp.1765-1774. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2009.11.008⟩. ⟨insu-00549105⟩

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