High-resolution petrophysical characterization of samples from an aeolian sandstone : the Permian Penrith sandstone of NW England

Lovell, M.A.; Jackson, P.D.; Harvey, P.K.; Flint, R.C.. 2006 High-resolution petrophysical characterization of samples from an aeolian sandstone : the Permian Penrith sandstone of NW England. In: Barker, R.D.; Tellam, J.H., (eds.) Fluid flow and solute movement in sandstones : the onshore UK permo-triassic red bed sequence. London, Geological Society of London, 49-63. (Special Publication, 263).

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The Penrith Sandstone is an orange/red, mainly homogeneous, friable rock made up of well-rounded, highly spherical quartz grains, often showing euhedral overgrowths of quartz. Sandstone samples from Stoneraise Quarry, NW England, exhibit a remarkable degree of rounding and very high sphericity, along with frosted textures typical of aeolian deposits. Chemically, the rock is predominantly SiO2 (>95%), with no evidence of carbonate cements. Quartz predominates with a small proportion (10%) of feldspar. The grain size across heterogeneous zones varies from very fine (100 µm) to coarse sand (700 µm). There is no evidence of the presence of clay minerals. Petrophysically, based on the measurements made in this study, the Penrith Sandstone is a typical clean sandstone characterized by moderate porosity (12%) and core-plug permeability (10–14–10–12 m2), and Archie ‘m’ exponents between 1.90 and 1.91, suggesting a reasonably clean ‘Archie’ rock with no excess conductivity associated with clays or bound water. Capillary pressure curves for four samples demonstrate unimodal pore-size distributions with a single modal range that varies between 25–50 and 70–80 µm. Because of the relative simplicity of its petrophysics, the sandstone is thus potentially very useful in fundamental studies, and also in the trialling of new techniques. We use imaging techniques to investigate the degree of heterogeneity and the fabric of the Penrith Sandstone. Conventional optical images are complemented by electrical resistivity, porosity and mini-permeametry images. These two-dimensional maps of resolution of approximately 5 mm show a spatial similarity determined by the rock fabric. The detailed images show a wider degree of variation and heterogeneity than the plug-averaged values. The success of the resistivity imaging method suggests that the technique could be used in deriving correlations that could be used to interpret borehole resistivity imaging logs. However, in the present study, correlations of property values derived from the imaging do show considerable scatter: this suggests that heterogeneity even below the scale of the imaging is also important, a conclusion supported by thin-section and electronmicroscope data.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Groundwater Management
Additional Keywords: Arsenic, Cheshire
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 28 Aug 2007 14:47 +0 (UTC)

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