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Thermal Anomalies Near Salt: A Porosity Preservation Window
Predicting sandstone porosity using parameters such as depth, temperature, or vertical effective stress alone is prone to errors in all but the most simple, low-temperature burial scenarios. The complex interplay of sand composition, texture, and fluid chemistry with variably changing temperature and effective stress through time yields a wide range of potential outcomes with respect to reservoir porosity and permeability. Calibrated Touchstone models combined with 3D basin models provide a method for quantitative reservoir quality prediction. Basin models indicate a zone of suppressed temperatures beneath thick salt bodies, with elevated temperatures occurring above. Rock properties, structural configuration, thickness of salt, and timing of salt emplacement control the magnitude of this effect. As a result, kinetic models indicate lower rates of quartz cementation in the subsalt zone, resulting in a transient window of porosity preservation.
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