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The lacustrine carbonate reservoirs of the South Atlantic host significant accumulations of chemically reactive and Al-free Mg-silicate minerals (e.g. stevensite, kerolite and talc). Petrographic data from units such as the Cretaceous Barra Velha Formation in the Santos Basin suggest that Mg-silicate minerals strongly influenced, and perhaps created, much of the observed secondary porosity. The diagenetic interactions between reactive Mg-silicate minerals and carbonate sediments are, however, poorly known. Here we develop a conceptual model for the origin of secondary porosity in the Barra Velha Formation guided by considerations of the chemistry that triggers Mg-silicate crystallization, as well as the geochemical...

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