Abstract: 

Although it is well known that sandstone porosity and permeability are controlled by a range of parameters such as grain size and sorting, amount, type, and location of diagenetic cements, extent and type of compaction, and the generation of intergranular and intragranular secondary porosity, it is less constrained how these controlling parameters link up in rock volumes (within and between beds) and how they spatially interact to determine porosity and permeability. To address these unknowns, this study examined Triassic fluvial sandstone outcrops from the UK using field logging, probe permeametry of 200 points, and sampling at 100 points on a gridded rock surface. These field observations were supplemented by laser particle-size analysis, thin-section point-count analysis of primary and diagenetic mineralogy, quantitative XRD mineral analysis, and SEM/EDAX analysis of all 100 samples. These data were analyzed using global regression, variography, kriging, conditional simulation, and geographically weighted regression to examine the spatial relationships between porosity and permeability and their potential controls. The results of bivariate analysis (global regression) of the entire outcrop dataset indicate only a weak correlation between both permeability porosity and their diagenetic and depositional controls and provide very limited information on the role of primary textural structures such as grain size and sorting. Subdividing the dataset further by bedding unit revealed details of more local controls on porosity and permeability. An alternative geostatistical approach combined with a local modeling technique (geographically weighted regression; GWR) subsequently was used to examine the spatial variability of porosity and permeability and their controls. The use of GWR does not require prior knowledge of divisions between bedding units, but the results from GWR broadly concur with results of regression analysis by bedding unit and provide much greater clarity of how porosity and permeability and their controls vary laterally and vertically. The close relationship between depositional lithofacies in each bed, diagenesis, permeability, and porosity demonstrates that each influences the other, and in turn how understanding of reservoir properties is enhanced by integration of paleoenvironmental reconstruction, stratigraphy, mineralogy, and geostatistics.

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