Comparison of differential diagenesis of two oolites on the Lower Triassic platform margin, NE Sichuan Basin: implications for the co-evolution of rock structure and porosity

Kaikai Li*, Simon C. George, Chunfang Cai, Xuefeng Zhang, Xianfeng Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Two oolites of the Lower Triassic Feixianguan Formation on the margins of the Kaijiang-Liangping (K-L) Trough in the NE Sichuan Basin were deposited in the upper parts of similar shallowing-upward sequences, and are capped by a subaerial exposure surface. However, they have contrasting diagenetic histories and reservoir qualities: the sour oolitic dolostone reservoirs on the eastern side of the K-L Trough have significantly higher porosities than the sweet oolitic limestone reservoirs on the western side. A petrologic and geochemical comparison of the two oolites was carried out so as to investigate the role of diagenetic processes on the co-evolution of oolite structure and pore network. On both sides of the K-L Trough, eogenetic meteoric digenesis led to an inversion of texture with ooid dissolution and interparticle cementation in the oolite layers close to the exposure surface. The layers relatively far from the exposure surface mostly underwent recrystallization in association with connate seawater, resulting in neomorphic fabrics in the ooid cortices and less interparticle calcite cement. During the subsequent dolomitization, the early-formed oolite structure were mostly inherited by the dolostones on the eastern side, with fabric-retentive textures in the layers close to the exposure surface and fabric-destructive textures in the layers far from the exposure surface. During deeper burial the oolitic limestones were subjected to extensive calcite cementation and porosity loss, whereas the dolostones generally retained more porosity and have better connectivity of the micropore network. The higher porosity of the dolostones is ascribed to lesser chemical compaction and associated cement precipitation, rather than the creation of new pores. Porosity enhancement is closely dependent on the absence of the calcite cement related to pressure solution. The heterogeneity of the dolostone fabrics and the porosity was further enhanced by the subsequent recrystallization and the dissolution-reprecipitation process induced by thermochemical sulfate reduction, during which small amounts of net porosity are calculated to have been created. The oolitic limestones are the best reservoirs close to the exposure surface, whereas the most porous dolostones with the highest degree of fabric destruction are commonly some distance from the exposure surface. These results provide some insights into the diagenetic controls on oolite structure and porosity, and have implications for predicting the porosity of deeply-buried oolitic reservoirs, so have global theoretical and practical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104485
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Dolomitization
  • Meteoric diagenesis
  • Porosity preservation
  • Rock fabric
  • Oolite
  • Sichuan Basin


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