Types of secondary porosity of carbonate rocks in injection and test wells in southern peninsular Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4013




The types of secondary porosity present in carbonate injection intervals and in the overlying carbonate rocks were determined at 11 injection well sites and 3 test well sites in southern peninsular Florida. The hydrogeologic system consists of a thick sequence of carbonate rocks overlain by clastic deposits. Principal hydrogeologic units are the surficial aquifer system, the intermediate aquifer system or the intermediate confining unit,the Floridan aquifer system, and the sub-Floridan confining unit.The concept of apparent secondary porosity was used in this study because the secondary porosity features observed in a borehole television survey could have been caused by geologic processes as well as by drilling activities. The secondary porosity features identified in a television survey were evaluated using driller's comments and caliper, flowmeter, and temperature logs. Borehole intervals that produced or received detectable amounts of flow, as shown by flowmeter and temperature logs, provided evidence that the secondary porosity of the interval was spatially distributed and interconnected beyond the immediate vicinity of a borehole and, thus, was related to geologic processes. Features associated with interconnected secondary porosity were identified as effective secondary porosity. Fracture porosity was identified as the most common type of effective secondary porosity and was observed predominantly in dolomite and dolomitic limestone. Cavity porosity was the least common type of effective secondary porosity at the study sites. In fact, of the more than 17,500 feet of borehole studied a total of only three cavities constituting effective secondary porosity were identified at only two sites. These cavities were detected in dolomite rocks. Most apparent cavities were caused by drilling-induced collapse of naturally fractured borehole walls. Also, fractures usually were observed above and below cavities. The majority of vugs observed in the television surveys did not constitute effective secondary porosity. No effective secondary porosity was evident in the limestone or dolomitic limestone in the 300-foot interval immediately above the injection interval at six sites on the southeastern coast of Florida. Injection wells commonly are cased through the 300-foot interval. Fractures or cavities that contribute to effective secondary porosity may be present in this interval, but were not detectable with the methods used. Widely dispersed, inter- connected fractures or cavities can be present beyond the rock column intersected by the borehole and can provide local pathways for vertical migration of injected wastewater or the displaced saltwater. In the interval between the top of the Floridan aquifer system and a point 300 feet above the top of the injection interval, fractured rocks having effective secondary porosity were observed at five of six sites along the southeastern coast. Borehole characteristics usually are related to the drilling characteristics of the rock type. In limestone, borehole diameters are consistently larger than the bit diameter whereas in dolomite, borehole diameters are intermittently larger than the bit diameter. The large borehole diameters associated with dredging probably are caused by the presence of intensively fractured dolomite which collapses during drilling.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Types of secondary porosity of carbonate rocks in injection and test wells in southern peninsular Florida
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S. Geological Survey, Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
iv, 78 p. :ill. (some col.), maps ;1995.