Abstract

The Mesozoic rift basins of northeast China are characterized by a significant proportion of basalt due to the progressive emplacement of basalt lava flows. The objective of this study was to construct vesicle distribution models of the basalt lava flow units, including conceptual geological models and thickness models, to understand the architecture of the basalt and the gas reservoir distribution. The conceptual geological models were constructed based on the characteristics of outcropping basalt lava flows, with supplemental seismic data used to extrapolate the lateral extents of large-scale basalt lava flows. The thickness models were constructed using data on the thicknesses of basalt lava flow units and vesicle zones. These data were obtained from 27 units in outcrop and 204 units interpreted from well logs in the basin. The conceptual geological models revealed that the shapes of the basalt lava flow units change from braided to tabular with increasing thickness and that their inner structures can be divided into three vesicle zones: the top vesicle zone, the massive core zone, and the base vesicle zone. The thickness models revealed that trends in the thickness of the top vesicle zone relative to the thickness of the basalt lava flow unit can be expressed using a piecewise function that can be separated into a linear function and a logarithmic function. Similarly, trends in the thickness of the massive core zone and the base vesicle zone relative to the basalt lava flow unit thickness can be expressed by a piecewise linear function. Vesicle distribution models provide an effective means of determining the proportion and distribution of vesicle zones in basalt with limited borehole data. We also constructed a reservoir model based on our vesicle distribution models, and this model revealed that suitable petroleum reservoirs are primarily located in the thinner braided lava flows.

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