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Lithification and porosity evolution in Permian periplatform limestones, Midland Basin, Texas

, : Lithification and porosity evolution in Permian periplatform limestones, Midland Basin, Texas. Carbonates and Evaporites 9(2): 151-171

Carbonate debris flows and turbidites in Lower Permian strata in the subsurface Midland basin (Texas) underwent a long, complex period of diagenesis. Prior to redeposition into toe-of-slope and proximal basin settings platform-margin reef and associated grainstones were pervasively cemented by radiaxial-fibrous calcite (RFC). The former high-Mg calcite mineralogy of these inferred marine cements is suggested by the presence of microdolomite inclusions, relatively high residual MgCO3 contents (1.8 mole %), and mean 18O (2.3 o/oo) and 13C (3.0 o/oo) compositions which approach those of extant sea water. Platform-margin strata subsequently underwent a period of dissolution, accompanied and followed by equant calcite cementation. Evidence of vadose cements in some rocks, the depleted 18O (2.6 to 6.6 o/oo) and 13C (0.3 to 2.7 o/oo) isotopic compositions of these cements relative to RFC and extant sea water, and regional evidence of sea level fluctuations during the Early Leonardian suggest that dissolution and cementation resulted from subaerial exposure and meteoric influx during at least one period of sea-level lowstand. Redeposition transported platform, margin-derived carbonates basinward into water depths of about 500 m, where they were lithified presumably by high-Mg calcite cements. Lithification occurred in the subbottom burial environment, in contact with circulating marine fluids, down to maximum depths of at least 300 m. Chemical compaction and multiple periods of, silicification, fracture formation and occlusion of fractures by calcite occurred during progressively deeper burial. A period of intense dissolution along fractures, probably in the Triassic, resulted in extensive mesogenetic porosity in some of these wells, and likely was coincident with hydrocarbon maturation in associated thermally mature shales.


DOI: 10.1007/bf03175228

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