The effect of pore size on cementation in porous rocks


Corresponding author: Professor Andrew Putnis, Institut für Mineralogie, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany. E-mail: Tel.: +49 251 833 3451. Fax: +49 251 833 8397.


Halite cementation in porous sandstone from the Lower Triassic Bunter Formation in North-West Germany has been studied using measurements of porosity and permeability, before and after salt extraction, as well as from petrographic observations. The results show that in cemented sandstones there is a clear tendency for the larger pores to be halite-filled while the smaller pores, which are responsible for the residual porosity, are left empty. Observations on cemented ‘pin-stripe’ aeolian sandstones, in which laminations of fine and coarser sand grains alternate on a millimetre scale, indicate that this selective cementation is not due to differences in the brine composition in the pores. The implication, which is also supported by other observations, is that fluids in small pores can maintain a higher supersaturation with respect to crystallization.