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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 9. (September)

First Page: 1606

Last Page: 1607

Title: Importance of Secondary Leached Porosity in Lower Tertiary Sandstone Reservoirs Along Texas Gulf Coast: ABSTRACT

Author(s): R. G. Loucks, M. M. Dodge, W. E. Galloway

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Secondary leached porosity is common to dominant in near-surface to deep-subsurface lower Tertiary sandstone reservoirs along the Texas Gulf Coast. This secondary porosity is in the form of leached feldspar grains, volcanic rock fragments, carbonate cements, and carbonate-replaced grains. Leached porosity occurs in sandstones with compositions ranging from volcanic litharenite and lithic arkose to quartzose sublitharenite and quartzose subarkose.

A generalized diagenetic sequence indicates that leaching is a multistaged phenomenon occurring at or near surface, at burial depths of 4,000 to 6,000 ft (1,200 to 1,800 m), and at burial depths of 7,000 to 10,000 ft (2,100 to 3,000 m). Feldspar grains are dissolved during the first stage, whereas grains, cements, and replacement products are dissolved during the last two stages. Intensity of leaching in each stage varies in different formations and in different areas.

Plots of secondary porosity as a percent of total porosity versus burial depth show that secondary porosity is dominant beneath 10,000 ft (3,000 m) ranging from 50 to 100% total porosity. Above 10,000 ft nearly all samples have some secondary porosity, which is the most common porosity type in more than half of the samples. Similarly, individual plots for the Wilcox, Yegua, Vicksburg, and Frio sandstones all demonstrate the predominance of secondary leached porosity.

Primary porosity is destroyed by compaction and cementation with increasing depth of burial. If this were the only porosity type, no deep, high-quality reservoirs would exist. Leaching, however, resurrects reservoirs after primary porosity has been reduced. Most productive lower Tertiary sandstone reservoirs, especially deep reservoirs, along the Texas Gulf Coast exist only because

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of secondary leached porosity.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists