Abstract

Aptian siliciclastic onshore deposits of the Mucuri Member are important reservoirs in the Espírito Santo Basin (eastern Brazil). A detailed quantitative petrographical and textural analysis of well core samples was performed in order to unravel their depositional processes and conditions, in relation to previously proposed depositional models. The results allowed differentiation between two groups of sandstone samples, characterized by different textural characteristics associated to different depositional processes and environments within the Mucuri depositional system. Fluvial sandstones are represented by medium- to coarse-grained, poorly sorted arkoses, rich in plutonic rock fragments and feldspar grains, mainly transported by traction. Coastal-lacustrine sandstones correspond to very fine- to fine-grained, moderately sorted micaceous arkoses, mainly transported in suspension. The application of a discriminant function based on grain-size parameters validated previously proposed depositional settings for the studied sample groups. The combination of grain-size and shape data revealed differences in hydraulic equivalence and shape between grains from different depositional settings. In terms of hydraulic equivalence, micas in the fluvial sediments present lower settling velocity values, in contrast to the relatively large mica grains in the coastal sediments, which are hydraulically equivalent with the associated quartz and feldspar grains. The results of this study provide key information regarding depositional conditions (transportation mechanisms, grain-settling velocity and mineral hydraulic fractionation) at the margins of the Aptian pre-salt system, which can constrain the hydrological conditions and the sediment type available for distal lacustrine areas.

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