Depositional controls over the lacustrine source rocks of the cuyana basin: an approach to model a mechanical cyclicity through an integrated analysis of sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics and rock properties
Sosa Massaro, Agustín
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"Integrating field and laboratory data is possible if there are strong geologic criteria to relate them. This challenge demands understanding rocks from the fabric and mineralogy up to the architectural elements of rock bodies at a basinal scale. The geological properties of rocks, being them clastic, chemical or biochemical, influence reservoir quality and hydrocarbon producibility, but continental mudrocks/siltstones (shales) are by far more complex because of their depositional nature and ighly variable vertical and lateral sedimentary characteristics. Grain size variability and sedimentary structures are common in these rocks. From outcrops, well logs and the source rocks of the Cuyana Basin (Argentina) could be characterized as deposited in lacustrine environments under a strong tectonic and climatic influence. Silty sandstones, limestones, massive and laminated bituminous shales developed in underfilled and balanced to overfilled lakes. They display arallel/inclined/rippled laminations, coarsening/fining upwards patterns, nodules, scour surfaces and pedogenic features. Total organic content may reach 14 % and corresponds to macro and micro floral remains, reshwater invertebrates and kerogen types I and II. These lithofacies are vertically stacked in patterns that can be related to cycles with different mechanical properties. In outcrops and with the help of seismic lines third order depositional sequences representing basin variations in accommodation space were recognized as low accommodation (LAS) to high accommodation (HAS) sequences developed in each of the three rifting stages. Using detailed information about mineralogy and fossil content climate was characterized and fourth order parasequences could be characterized. Fifth order (bedset-rhythms) cycles were interpreted on the basis of outcrops and well logs. Inorganic (especially clays) and organic content, pedogenic fabric, burrows and microfracturing represent weakness planes and as they vary according to these cycles, it was possible to model a mechanical cyclicity along the whole lacustrine column and to analyze their depositional controls. This integrated study has provided relevant data for the understanding of the geological and mechanical properties that will contribute to the optimization of fracture programs."