The processes that deposit mud, and the environmental conditions under which the mud is deposited, are the primary controls on the composition (i.e., mineralogy, organic content) and texture (laminations, bedding, etc.) of mudstones (“shales”). Together, these and other factors (e.g., diagenesis, subsurface stresses) control or affect geomechanical properties, anisotropy, porosity, permeability, and other factors that are fundamental controls on whether a mudstone can act as a hydrocarbon source rock, seal, or reservoir. Better understanding of depositional processes will lead to improvements in the way we analyze and predict mudstone properties.

The four papers in this collection examine some of the...

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