What Can Magnetic Susceptibility Do for Us in Shale Plays When Used as Part of an Integrated Workflow?

Wright, Milly and Ratcliffe, Ken and Hounslow, Mark (2015) What Can Magnetic Susceptibility Do for Us in Shale Plays When Used as Part of an Integrated Workflow? In: Proceedings of the 3rd Unconventional Resources Technology Conference. UNSPECIFIED, USA.

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Magnetic Susceptibility (MS) is an indicator of the concentration of magnetic particles in rocks. In pre-Quaternary sediments the magnetic susceptibility is often sourced in either Fe-rich clays (chlorites etc), or Fe-oxides (magnetite or hematite), and often shows a dilution-relationship with calcite which has a small negative MS. Mudrocks lend themselves readily to MS analyses, since MS often responds to the gross lithological variations, with a superimposed provenance or sometimes diagenetic signature. Two applications for magnetic susceptibility in shale resource plays will be considered in this paper: a) stratigraphic correlation and b) paleoflow determination. The first is carried out using data acquired from either small samples, measured in the laboratory, or by direct analysis of cores using a hand held MS meter. Paleoflow determinations utilise directional variation in magnetic susceptibility (Anisotropy of Magnetic Susceptibility- AMS) to make an interpretation of grain orientation. Re-orientation of the core is required to convert the preferred grain orientation into geographic coordinates. Direct measurement of core using a handheld magnetic susceptibility meter enables large, high resolution (5-10 cm spacing) datasets to be gathered rapidly. Typically, these data show marked cyclicity, which in a Miocene carbonate sequence from Mallorca will be shown to be controlled by sea level fluctuations. Furthermore, because high resolution measurements are available, parasequences can be imaged in the magnetic susceptibility data. Changes in the symmetry of the transgressive - regressive portions of parasequences allow variations in "stacking patterns" to be compiled, thereby providing input into sequence stratigraphic interpretations. This aspect will be demonstrated using core analysis from a US shale play. AMS measurements provide a rapid and precise determination of the three-dimensional orientation of grains in samples. When dealing with a shale play, any such grain-orientation data are difficult to determine using visual analyses. The AMS expresses the bedding-foliation, and the lineation (i.e. paleoflow direction) within the bedding plane. Hence, it can be used to infer structural information, as well as with-bedding preferred grain-orientation information. Here, we will show initial results from a European shale play that suggests AMS has the potential to be a powerful tool in paleoflow and sediment fabric analysis of mudrocks.

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19 Jul 2022 13:55
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16 Sep 2023 03:24