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Large pores in carbonate rocks hold and transmit fluids, whereas associated micropores may hold irreducible water; i.e., water not available for flow. Analysis of borehole logs of microporous carbonate rocks can result in misleadingly high calculated water saturations and possibly bypassing of a potential oil or gas reservoir.
Microporosity occurs in carbonate rocks that range from friable to well indurated. Intercrystalline micropores may be present in micrite and within ooids, pisolites, micrite intraclasts, pellets, and cryptocrystalline grains. Micropores in ancient rocks appear to result from (1) formation of micrite envelopes, (2) void space present after transition of aragonite to calcite, or (3) incipient weathering and dissolution. Aggrading neomorphism of micrite to microspar tends to destroy microporosity.
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