Abstract

This study deals with the diagenetic evolution of dolostones of the Romaine Formation, from cores and outcrops on Anticosti and Mingan islands, and reports evidence for hydrocarbon migration in secondary porosity generated by high temperature / hydrothermal alteration. Four types of calcite (grouped into early (C1) and late (C2) assemblages) and six types of dolomite (grouped into 3 different (D1, D2 and D3) assemblages) are distinguished. According to fluid-inclusion and stable C-O isotope data, the early calcite group, which consists of sedimentary micrite, replacement microspar and early pore-filling calcite records near surface diagenetic environments. Early and pervasive replacement dolomites (RD1 and RD2 in the first dolomite (D1) assemblage) were formed during early burial, and are not related to porosity generation. Later replacement dolomites (RD3 and RD4 in the second dolomite (D2) assemblage) and pore-filling dolomite cements (PD1 and PD2 in the third dolomite (D3) assemblage) as well as minor sphalerite were formed from warm, saline fluids, which were likely hydrothermal in origin. Vuggy porosity was produced through brecciation and fracturing, and through some dissolution of the D1 dolomite assemblage by these hydrothermal fluids. Intercrystalline porosity was also created during formation of the D2 dolomite assemblage. The vugs were partly occluded by late-stage pore filling dolomite and calcite cements, pyrite and barite. Bitumen droplets in vugs together with hydrocarbon inclusions recorded in C2 calcite and in contemporaneous barite indicate a hydrocarbon migration event after the porosity-generating processes.

The brecciation / leaching of a precursor dolomite host is uncommon in hydrothermal dolomite hydrocarbon fields, but is recognized in the adjacent coeval pool in Newfoundland. This type of alteration in the Ordovician carbonates with the presence of a rich hydrocarbon source rock and favourable maturation are key elements for the on-going exploration efforts in this basin.

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