Relationships between stylolites and cementation in sandstone reservoirs: Examples from the North Sea, UK and East Greenland

Martin Baron, John Parnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


The reservoir potential of hydrocarbon sandstone reservoirs may be significantly reduced by compartmentation as a result of the development of stylolites. A petrographic and fluid inclusion microthermometric study was performed on sandstones containing abundant stylolites from the Buchan, Galley and Scott Fields in the Outer Moray Firth, offshore Scotland, and from a palaeo-oil bearing sequence in East Greenland. The main objective of this study was to further constrain the temperatures and burial depths at which stylolitization occurs in sandstone reservoirs. The sandstones containing abundant stylolites are also characterized by their highly cemented nature. Numerous occurrences of quartz overgrowths clearly truncated by sutured stylolites are evident in all of the samples. Fluid inclusion microthermometry reveals that quartz cementation, which is interpreted to be coeval with stylolitization, occurred at minimum temperatures of between 86 and 136 degrees C. Basin modelling of the Scott and Galley Fields indicates that quartz cementation and stylolite development formed at depths greater than 2.5 km which were attained during rapid Tertiary burial. The occurrence of hydrocarbon fluid inclusions within healed microtractures orientated at high angles to the stylolites suggests that these microtractures provided pathways for hydrocarbon migration in the highly cemented, low permeability zones associated with highly stylolitized sandstones. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-35
Number of pages19
JournalSedimentary Geology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2007


  • stylolites
  • diagenesis
  • fluid inclusions
  • basin modelling
  • low-temperature deformation
  • quartz-cementation
  • pressure-solution
  • fluid-inclusion
  • sedimentary basins
  • porosity reduction
  • compaction
  • evolution
  • field


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