The development of secondary porosity in many sandstones is the result of aluminosilicate and/or carbonate dissolution. The dissolution of aluminosilicates and creation of secondary porosity is a problem of aluminum mobility. Our experimental data demonstrate that it is possible to increase significantly the mobility of aluminum and to transport it as an organic complex in aliphatic acid solutions. The same aliphatic acid solutions have the capability of destroying carbonate cements and debris.
Carothers and Kaharka have shown that concentrations of aliphatic acid anions range up to 5,000 ppm over the temperature range 80 to 200°C in some oil field formation waters. Our experiments show that acetic acid solutions at the same concentrations and over the same temperature range can increase the solubility of aluminum by a half an order of magnitude, whereas oxalic acid solutions increase the solubility of aluminum by an order of magnitude. The textural relations observed in the experiments are identical to those observed in sandstones containing secondary porosity as a result of aluminosilicate dissolution.
A natural consequence of the burial of sedimentary prisms is the maturation of organic material. These maturation reactions result in the evolution of significant amounts of organic acids and carbon dioxide. The experiments suggest that the development of secondary porosity in a sandstone as a result of aluminosilicate or carbonate dissolution is the natural consequence of the interaction of organic and inorganic reactions during progressive diagenesis. The degree to which secondary porosity develops depends on the ratio of organic to inorganic matter, the sequence, rates and magnitude of diagenetic reactions, fluid flux, and sand/shale geometry.