Grain Deformation Processes in Porous Quartz Sandstones – Insight from the Clusters of Cataclastic Deformation Bands
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Porous sandstones represent classical reservoirs for water or hydrocarbons. Deformation in such granular material is due to tectonic events and occurs through the process of cataclasis, implying the crushing of the grains to a diversity of smaller clasts. Cataclasis is generally accompanied by porosity and permeability decrease. Although it is known that cataclastic deformation localizes to form individual bands and clusters of bands, the parameters controlling the distribution of this deformation were not well understood until recently. We used scanline measurements to show a favoured localization and clustering of the deformation on the case of normal-fault stress regime and potentially in strike-slip fault regime. The reverse regime favours the formation of distributed networks of conjugate deformation bands. At the scale of a cluster, field data reveals that the minimum modal grain size value of the host sandstone(s) controls the band density. Finally, microscopic cathodoluminescence analysis reveals enhanced quartz cementation for high degree of cataclasis. Hence, because band clustering, high degree of cataclasis and band cementation are favoured in normal-fault stress regime, tectonic extension appears to be favourable conditions for the formation of efficient barriers to fluid-flow in porous sandstone reservoirs.
Presented at: Powders and Grains 2017 – 8th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media