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Lithology dependence of porosity in slope and deep marine sediments

Michelle A. Kominz, Kyle Patterson and Danielle Odette
Lithology dependence of porosity in slope and deep marine sediments
Journal of Sedimentary Research (October 2011) 81 (10): 730-742


Compilation of porosity data from 11 Ocean Drilling Program legs and 53 sites shows that compaction in deep marine to upper-slope sediments is, at least in part, a function of both burial depth and lithology. Overall porosities range from 4 to 94%. Despite the broad range of porosities, there is an exponential trend toward decreasing porosity with depth. Comparison among samples dominated (90 to 100%) by each of six lithologies, based on grain size and composition, reveals the lithology dependence of compaction, except for biogenic silt-size sediments and clastic sands. In the former case, this may, in part, be due to mixing of calcareous and siliceous nannofossils. Clay-size clastic sediments show a clear change from rapid porosity reduction in the top 172 meters (porosity = 82.7 e (super -depth/430) ) to less pronounced loss of porosity below (porosity = 61.4 e (super -depth/1671) ). The remainder of the lithologies, silt (porosity = 75.5 e (super -depth/1091) ), biogenic sand (porosity = 88.5 e (super -depth/1338) ) and micrite (porosity = 69.5 e (super -depth/1235) , show a good to strong exponential reduction of porosity with depth. These relations compare well with literature studies, taking into account the less pure nature of the lithologies used in this work. The silt compaction curve is unique; no previous studies of porosity separated silt from other grain sizes. Most sediment samples are of mixed grain sizes and types. The lithology-based porosity-depth relations were used to test four approaches to decompaction in mixed-lithology sediment used in backstripping. All methods generated porosity estimates that correlated strongly to the observed values, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.629 to 0.686. These methods that have been used for years are, for the first time, shown to be valid.

ISSN: 1527-1404
EISSN: 1938-3681
Serial Title: Journal of Sedimentary Research
Serial Volume: 81
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Lithology dependence of porosity in slope and deep marine sediments
Affiliation: Western Michigan University, Department of Geosciences, Kalamazoo, MI, United States
Pages: 730-742
Published: 201110
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 64
Accession Number: 2011-103218
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201152
Program Name: ODPOcean Drilling Program
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