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Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 97, No. 7 (September 2013), P. 15211543.

Copyright copy2013. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/03071312127

Influence of fault rock foliation on fault zone permeability: The case of deeply buried arkosic sandstones (Gres d'Annot, southeastern France)

Thibault Cavailhes,1 Jean-Pierre Sizun,2 Pierre Labaume,3 Alain Chauvet,4 Martine Buatier,5 Roger Soliva,6 Leila Mezri,7 Delphine Charpentier,8 Henri Leclere,9 Anna Trave,10 Claude Gout11

1Geosciences Montpellier, unite mixte de recherche 5243, Universite Montpellier 2-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; present address: Badley Ashton amp Associates Ltd., Winceby, United Kingdom; thibaultcavailhes@badley-ashton.co.uk
2Chrono-Environnement, unite mixte de recherche 6249, Universite de Franche-Comte-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 16 Route de Gray, 25030 Besancon Cedex, France; jpsizun@univ-fcomte.fr
3Geosciences Montpellier, unite mixte de recherche 5243, Universite Montpellier 2-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; pierre.labaume@gm.univ-montp2.fr
4Geosciences Montpellier, unite mixte de recherche 5243, Universite Montpellier 2-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; alain.chauvet@gm.univ-montp2.fr
5Chrono-Environnement, unite mixte de recherche 6249, Universite de Franche-Comte-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 16 Route de Gray, 25030 Besancon Cedex, France; martine.buatier@univ-fcomte.fr
6Geosciences Montpellier, unite mixte de recherche 5243, Universite Montpellier 2-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; roger.soliva@gm.univ-montp2.fr
7Geosciences Montpellier, unite mixte de recherche 5243, Universite Montpellier 2-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Place Eugene Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; leilamezri@yahoo.fr
8Chrono-Environnement, unite mixte de recherche 6249, Universite de Franche-Comte-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 16 Route de Gray, 25030 Besancon Cedex, France; Delphine.Charpentier@univ-fcomte.fr
9Chrono-Environnement, unite mixte de recherche 6249, Universite de Franche-Comte-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 16 Route de Gray, 25030 Besancon Cedex, France; henri.leclere@univ-fcomte.fr
10Departament de Geoquimica, Petrologia i Prospeccio Geologica, Universitat de Barcelona, c/Marti i Franques s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain; atrave@ub.edu
11Total, Jean Feger Scientific and Technical Center, Avenue Larribau, 64018 Pau, France; claude.gout@total.com

ABSTRACT

We describe the structure, microstructure, and petrophysical properties of fault rocks from two normal fault zones formed in low-porosity turbiditic arkosic sandstones, in deep diagenesis conditions similar to those of deeply buried reservoirs. These fault rocks are characterized by a foliated fabric and quartz-calcite sealed veins, which formation resulted from the combination of the (1) pressure solution of quartz, (2) intense fracturing sealed by quartz and calcite cements, and (3) neoformation of synkinematic white micas derived from the alteration of feldspars and chlorite. Fluid inclusion microthermometry in quartz and calcite cements demonstrates fault activity at temperatures of 195degC to 268degC. Permeability measurements on plugs oriented parallel with the principal axes of the finite strain ellipsoid show that the Y axis (parallel with the foliation and veins) is the direction of highest permeability in the foliated sandstone (10–2 md for Y against 10–3 md for X, Z, and the protolith, measured at a confining pressure of 20 bars). Microstructural observations document the localization of the preferential fluid path between the phyllosilicate particles forming the foliation. Hence, the direction of highest permeability in these fault rocks would be parallel with the fault and subhorizontal, that is, perpendicular to the slickenlines representing the local slip direction on the fault surface. We suggest that a similar relationship between kinematic markers and fault rock permeability anisotropy may be found in other fault zone types (reverse or strike-slip) affecting feldspar-rich lithologies in deep diagenesis conditions.

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