Quartz Cement: The Miller's Tale

  1. Richard H. Worden7 and
  2. Sadoon Morad8
  1. J. Gluyas1,†,
  2. C. Garland2,‡,
  3. N. H. Oxtoby3 and
  4. A. J. C. Hogg4,‡

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304237.ch14

Quartz Cementation in Sandstones

Quartz Cementation in Sandstones

How to Cite

Gluyas, J., Garland, C., Oxtoby, N. H. and Hogg, A. J. C. (2000) Quartz Cement: The Miller's Tale, in Quartz Cementation in Sandstones (eds R. H. Worden and S. Morad), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304237.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 7

    School of Geosciences, The Queen's University, Belfast, BT7 1NN, UK

  2. 8

    Sedimentary Geology Research Group, Institute of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 B, S–75236, Uppsala, Sweden

Author Information

  1. 1

    BP Exploración de Venezuela SA, Edificio Seguros Sudamerica, Avenida Fransisco de Miranda, El Rosal, Caracas, Venezuela

  2. 2

    BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd, Farburn Industrial Estate, Dyce, Aberdeen, AB2 0PB, UK

  3. 3

    University of London, Department of Geology, Egham Hill, TW20 0EX, UK

  4. 4

    BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd, Blackhill Rd., Holton Heath, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6LS, UK

  1. Monument Oil and Gas plc, Kierran Cross, 11 Strand, London, WC2N 5H, UK

  2. ADDAX Petroleum 12, Rue Michel Servet 1206 Geneva, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 3 MAR 2000

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632054824

Online ISBN: 9781444304237



  • quartz cement - the Miller's Tale;
  • Brae Formation sandstones of Miller Field, UK Continental Shelf - quartz cemented quartz arenites;
  • sandstone mineralogy;
  • diagenetic sequence deduced from petrographic analysis;
  • timing of quartz cementation;
  • Brae formation geochemistry;
  • temperature of mudstone diagenesis;
  • Brae Formation and Kimmeridge clay formation mudstones


The Brae Formation sandstones of the Miller Field, UK Continental Shelf, are quartz cemented quartz arenites. The only parts of the sandstone not cemented by quartz lie within calcite concretions. These concretions, precipitated soon after deposition of the sand, preserve the original fabric and chemistry of the sand. Comparison of the calcite cemented rock with the quartz cemented rock reveals that the sandstone gained SiO2 during subsequent diagenesis.

The Brae Formation sandstones are overlain and interbedded with mudstones of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation. However, the mudstones do not have a uniform chemical composition. Mudstones that are interbedded with the Brae Formation sandstones contain less SiO2 than mudstones that occur above the Brae Formation. The contrast between mudstones which are relatively rich in silica and those which are relatively poor in silica cross-cuts chronostratigraphic surfaces. This indicates that those mudstones which are interbedded with the sandstones lost (exported) silica during diagenesis.

The volume of silica exported from the mudstones matches that imported by the sandstone. Moreover, the date of quartz cementation in the sandstone was much the same as the inferred timing of clay mineral transformations in the mudstones. Such clay transformations could have liberated silica for cementation.

The average size of the isochemical, diagenetic system with respect to quartz was small. Indeed the system is better described as short since the important parameters are a vector and a measure of net (sandstone) to gross (sandstone plus mudstone). The average distance travelled for a silica quantum was 1.15 ± 2.02 m, in a direction normal to the stratigraphy and in a period of 2–20 Myr. Thus the silica flux during cementation was in the order of 10−4–10−2 moles m−1 yr−1.