Calcretes or caliches are continental limestones developed by surficial weathering process that takes place mostly in arid and semi-arid regions. In the Irecê Basin, northeastern Brazil, in addition to the regular occurrence of pedogenic calcretes, a peculiar type of structurally controlled calcretes occurs on Neoproterozoic limestones. These peculiar calcretes developed near the surface and occur (1) between layers, (2) inside fractures and (3) within major thrust faults. Fieldwork on selected outcrops was integrated with petrographic, mineralogic, geochemical, density and mercury intrusion porosity analyses to constrain the environment of formation and their petrophysical properties. The results revealed that this type of calcrete is the product of multiepisodic events of dissolution and precipitation occurring during the wet and dry seasons in the region along fractures and beddings. Based on the petrophysical results, we suggest that these calcretes may have an important role in the migration of fluids through the impermeable host carbonate rock and that they act as a conduit for fluid flow, as revealed by their high porosity (mean value = 26%) and remarkable pore connectivity.

Pedogenic calcretes within fracture systems and beddings in Neoproterozoic limestones of the Irecê Basin, northeastern Brazil

BALSAMO, Fabrizio;IACUMIN, Paola;STORTI, Fabrizio;
2016

Abstract

Calcretes or caliches are continental limestones developed by surficial weathering process that takes place mostly in arid and semi-arid regions. In the Irecê Basin, northeastern Brazil, in addition to the regular occurrence of pedogenic calcretes, a peculiar type of structurally controlled calcretes occurs on Neoproterozoic limestones. These peculiar calcretes developed near the surface and occur (1) between layers, (2) inside fractures and (3) within major thrust faults. Fieldwork on selected outcrops was integrated with petrographic, mineralogic, geochemical, density and mercury intrusion porosity analyses to constrain the environment of formation and their petrophysical properties. The results revealed that this type of calcrete is the product of multiepisodic events of dissolution and precipitation occurring during the wet and dry seasons in the region along fractures and beddings. Based on the petrophysical results, we suggest that these calcretes may have an important role in the migration of fluids through the impermeable host carbonate rock and that they act as a conduit for fluid flow, as revealed by their high porosity (mean value = 26%) and remarkable pore connectivity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11381/2807412
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