Abstract

We investigate hypotheses concerning observed associations between clay minerals and sandstone pressure solution and cementation. By use of a quantitative reaction-transport-deformation model that we set forth earlier, simulations of diagenetic interactions in clay-bearing sandstones in time and space show that different combinations of kinetic mechanisms acting as quartz grain-free faces and contacts produce characteristic spatial patterns in clay content, quartz-overgrowth abundance, porosity, and amount of pressure solution-related compaction. Comparison of simulation results to existing data from sandstones provides constraints on the operating diagenetic processes. We conclude that thin clay coatings on sand grains sufficiently retard development of quartz overgrowth by slowing precipitation kinetics, intracontact clay minerals promote water-film diffusion pressure solution, and free-face pressure solution operates within clay-free sand-grain boundaries.

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