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Book Chapter

Inorganic Geochemical Techniques

January 01, 1993


Part I of this manual describes inorganic geochemical techniques that can be used to deduce the origin of a dolomite and establishes guidelines that geologists can follow to interpret dolomite geochemical data.

Our specific goal in studying dolomitization is to gain a better understanding of the factors that control a dolomite unit's extent and shape — to determine whether it is stratiform, structurally controlled, etc. The geochemical techniques that are most useful in attaining this goal are:

  1. Produced formation water analyses

    • Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions

    • Solute concentrations

  2. Dolomite analyses

    • Oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions

    • Fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures and salinities

    • Strontium isotopic compositions

    • Trace element concentrations (particularly Fe and Mn)

The analytical techniques in (1.) shed light on whether dolomite has formed from present-day well or formation fluids. When analyzing a produced formation water, relevant questions one might ask are: “Did this water originate as expelled interstitial evaporite brine, invaded meteoric water, or seawater?”; and “Was the water ever involved in dolomitizing limestone?”

The analytical techniques in (2.) shed light on the physical and chemical environment in which a dolomite formed. When analyzing dolomite, relevant questions one might ask include: “At what temperature and depth did dolomitization occur?”; “What was the salinity of the fluid responsible for dolomitization?”; and “To what extent did organic matter maturation and degradation products and siliciclastic diagenesis contribute to

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Figures & Tables


AAPG Continuing Education Course Notes Series

Dolomite Reservoirs: Geochemical Techniques for Evaluating Origin and Distribution

J. R. Allan
J. R. Allan
Allan Geological Analysis Fullerton, California, U.S.A.
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W. D. Wiggins
W. D. Wiggins
Chevron Petroleum Technology Company La Habra, California, U.S.A.
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1993




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