Submarine-fan sandstones of the Great Valley sequence west of the Sacramento Valley, California, have low porosities and permeabilities. However, petrography and scanning electron microscope studies indicate that most sands in almost all submarine-fan environments are originally porous and permeable. Thin turbidite sandstones deposited in areas dominated by shale in the outer-fan and basin-plain are cemented mainly by calcite; shale dewatering is inferred to contribute to rapid cementation early in the burial process. Sands deposited in inner- and middle-fan channels with only thin shale beds have small percentrages of intergranular cement. The original porosity is reduced mechanically at shallow depths and by pressure solution at deeperlevels. Permeability decreases with increasing age of the rocks, as a result of increasing burial depths. Computer-run stepwise regression analyses show that the porosity is inversely related to the percentage of calcite cement. The results reported here indicate original porosity and permeability can be high in deep-water submarine fans and that fan environments dominated by sand (with high sand/shale ratios) are more likely to retain higher porosity and permeability to greater depths than sand interbedded with thick shale sequences.-from Author
Additional publication details
Reservoir properties of submarine- fan facies: Great Valley sequence, California.