Our main objectives are to (1) learn if pore-evolution models developed from marine mudrocks can be directly applied to lacustrine mudrocks, (2) investigate what controls the different pore types and sizes of Chang 7 organic matter (OM)-rich argillaceous mudstones of the Upper Triassic Yanchang Formation, and (3) describe the texture, fabric, mineralogy, and thermal maturity variation in the Chang 7 mudstones. Lacustrine mudstones from nine cored wells along a depositional dip in the southeastern Ordos Basin, China, were investigated. Helium porosimetry, nitrogen adsorption, and field-emission scanning electron microscopy of Ar-ion milled samples were applied. Measured average total porosity of samples from a proximal to distal transect () is higher than those from the two adjacent cored wells (). This difference in porosity partly caused by differences in the clay mineral content implies that in the fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine depositional environment, reservoir quality can vary significantly in a short distance. Owing to the uneven distribution of the sample set from proximal to distal area, we mainly evaluate variations in the proximal setting. Results from nitrogen-gas adsorption experiments show that there are four distinct patterns of pore-size distribution within the Chang 7 member of the Yanchang Formation with no particular correlation with mineralogical composition and thermal maturity. The pore network within Chang 7 mudstones is dominated by OM-hosted pores, with a lesser abundance of interparticle and intraparticle pores. The size distribution of mineral-hosted pores within these mudstones is found to be closely related to the rock texture (sorting and grain size) and fabric. Mudstones with well-sorted grains and a higher percentage of coarser grains have more abundant mineral pores. The sizes of OM-hosted pores in these compaction-dominated lacustrine mudstones were one to two orders of magnitude smaller than those in the marine mudstones that display abundant early cementation.