Origin of high H2S concentrations in the Upper Permian Changxing reservoirs of the Northeast Sichuan Basin, China

Kaikai Li*, Chunfang Cai, Dujie Hou, Xunyun He, Lei Jiang, Lianqi Jia, Liulu Cai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Intense thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) and up to 18% H2S are found in the Upper Permian Changxing Formation (P3ch) in the northeast (NE) Sichuan Basin, China, despite that rare gypsum or anhydrite was found in this formation. Here, we present new concentration data of carbonate-associated sulfate (CAS) from carbonate host rocks, C, O, and Sr isotope data for TSR-related calcites, and S isotope data for sulfur compounds obtained during this study. These data along with spatial-temporal changes in palaeogeopressure conditions, hydraulic conductivity and the physical capacity indicate that the H2S was generated locally from TSR within the P3ch reservoirs. We propose that the reactive sulfates were derived from CAS released during dolomitization and recrystallization of earlier dolomite within the P3ch Fm. and from the cross-formational migration of evaporative brines from the Lower Triassic Feixianguan Formation (T1f) to P3ch Fm. Our calculation shows that the two sources could provide enough SO42- for the generation of H2S within the P3ch reservoirs. Early downward migration of sulfate-rich evaporative brines from the T1f formation occurred in near-surface and shallow burial diagenetic settings (mainly <1000m). The evaporative brines seeped into porous grainstones and displaced preexisting seawater, causing pervasive dolomitization within the P3ch Fm. Subsequently, TSR calcites precipitated from the pore water have high Sr concentrations (up to 7767ppm), close to the T1f TSR calcites, and 87Sr/86Sr ratios mainly from 0.7074 to 0.7078, which are significantly higher than those of Late Permian seawater but within the range of early Triassic seawater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbonate-associated sulfate
  • Isotope
  • Thermochemical sulfate reduction
  • Dolomitization

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