Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Peter T. Kolesar


Peter T. Kolesar


Robert Q. Oaks


James P. McCalpin


Petrographic and SEM study of flu vial-deltaic sections of the Woodbine Group in the East Texas Basin indicates that authigenic mineral suites are controlled, in part, by the presence of organic-rich matrix.

During early, precompaction diagenesis, organic matter supplied the metabolic fuel required by sulfate-reducing bacteria to reduce sulfate in depositional waters ultimately to pyrite. With burial the sulfate supply was ultimately exhausted, and bicarbonate activity thereafter controlled the precipitation of siderite and Fe-calcite.

Matrix material supplied the components and reaction sites for the most import ant porosity-occluding reaction: kaolinite --> Fe,M g chlorite. Matrix physically inhibited the growth of quartz overgrowths, yet, through compaction and as a product of the above reaction, provided a supply of silica for quartz cementation. Dissolution of salt dome cap rock has played a minor role in the cementation of the Woodbine in the East Texas Basin. Pore-filling calcite, barite, and pyrite were observed in the Woodbine where the Woodbine is in direct hydraulic communication with salt dome cap rock.

In the deep, central portion of the basin Na-Cl brine resulting from salt-dome dissolution is evolving toward a Na-Ca(Mg)-Cl brine. The evolution of the brine chemistry may be the result of cation exchange on clay minerals, albitization of plagioclase feldspars, or the dissolution of magnesium - and calcium- chloride-rich phases. The present study could not confirm any of these reactions.

WATEQF was used to calculate mineral-saturation states in Woodbine waters. Program output appears to represent accurately in situ individual mineral-saturation states at measured pH, as confirmed by petrographic and SEM identification of authigenic minerals. Relative stability between mineral pairs can be tested with thermodynamically-derived activity diagrams for the mineral pairs.



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