Geochemistry of the fracture-cave calcite of the Ordovician Yingshan Formation and its paleokarst environment in the Tazhong area, Tarim Basin, China


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April 2019


The fracture-cave reservoir of the Yingshan Formation is an important oil and gas producing zone in the Tarim Basin. Karstification occurs at the top surface of the carbonate rocks of the Yingshan Formation on the northern slope of the Tazhong area due to a short exposure, so abundant fracture-cave spaces are formed. On the basis of the data of nearly 49 samples obtained from 21 wells, the carbon and oxygen isotopes of the fracture-cave calcite were analyzed. The carbon and oxygen stable isotopic characteristics recorded during paleokarstification were discussed to provide geochemical evidence for predicting the distribution of the fracture-cave reservoirs, as well as to understand the genetic mechanism of karst fracture-caves and the fluid properties and paleo-hydrological conditions of paleokarstification. The fracture-cave calcite can be divided into three types based on its carbon and oxygen isotope values, which indicate three types of paleokarst environments with different fluid properties. Type I calcite has similar carbon and oxygen isotope values to the bedrock of the Yingshan Formation, with δ13C values of − 2.0 to 1.1‰ and δ18O values of − 5.76 to − 8.16‰. These values indicate that the calcite was precipitated in the eogenetic karst environment of the Yingshan Formation. Type II calcite has a δ13C value of − 2.13 to 1.0‰ and a δ18O value of − 12.41 to − 8.0‰. It has a similar δ13C value, but a significantly negative oxygen isotope value compared with values of the bedrock of the Yingshan Formation, indicating a buried karst environment. Type III calcite has an extremely negative δ18O value (δ18O value < − 14.50‰), indicating hypothermal karst genesis. Its formation is related to magma or deep hydrothermal fluids. No calcite with atmospheric freshwater genesis and significantly negative δ13C and δ18O values was found in the samples, indicating that the formation of fracture-caves is weakly affected by atmospheric freshwater. The main reservoir space of the Yingshan Formation is karst caves. The calcite


Carbonates and Evaporites, Vol. 34, no. 4 (2019-04-06).


Geochemistry, Paleokarst, China, Fracture-Cave Reservoir, Tazhong, Tarim Basin



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Geochemistry; Paleokarst; China; Fracture-Cave Reservoir; Tazhong; Tarim Basin