Seventy-six samples of formation waters were collected from oil wells producing from the Aux Vases or Cypress Formations in the Illinois Basin. Forty core samples of the reservoir rocks were also collected from the two formations. Analyses of the samples indicated that the total dissolved solids content (TDS) of the waters ranged from 43,300 to 151,400 mg/L, far exceeding the 35,400 mg/mL of TDS found in typical seawater. Cl-Br relations suggested that high salinities in the Aux Vases and Cypress formation waters resulted from the evaporation of original seawater and subsequent mixing of the evaporated seawater with concentrated halite solutions. Mixing with the halite solutions increased Na and Cl concentrations and diluted the concentration of other ions in the formation waters. The elemental concentrations were influenced further by diagenetic reactions with silicate and carbonate minerals. Diagenetic signatures revealed by fluid chemistry and rock mineralogy delineated the water-rock interactions that took place in the Aux Vases and Cypress sandstones. Dissolution of K-feldspar released K into the solution, leading to the formation of authigenic illite and mixed-layered illite/smectite. Some Mg was removed from the solution by the formation of authigenic chlorite and dolomite. Dolomitization, calcite recrystallization, and contribution from clay minerals raised Sr levels significantly in the formation waters. The trend of increasing TDS of the saline formation waters with depth can be explained with density stratification. But, it is difficult to explain the combination of the increasing TDS and increasing Ca/Na ratio with depth without invoking the controversial 'ion filtration' mechanism.
Additional publication details
Chemical composition and geologic history of saline waters in Aux Vases and Cypress Formations, Illinois Basin