The purpose of this article was to quantitatively investigate the pore structure and fractal characteristics of different lithofacies in the upper Permian Dalong Formation marine shale. Shale samples in this study were collected from well GD1 in the Lower Yangtze region for mineral composition, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nitrogen adsorption–desorption analysis, as well as broad-ion beam scanning electron microscopy (BIB-SEM) observation. Experimental results showed that the TOC (total organic carbon) content and vitrinite reflectance (Ro) of the investigated shale samples were in the ranges 1.18–6.45% and 1.15–1.29%, respectively, showing that the Dalong Formation shale was in the mature stage. XRD results showed that the Dalong Formation shale was dominated by quartz ranging from 38.4% to 54.3%, followed by clay minerals in the range 31.7–37.5%, along with carbonate minerals (calcite and dolomite), with an average value of 9.6%. Based on the mineral compositions of the studied samples, the Dalong Formation shale can be divided into two types of lithofacies, namely siliceous shale facies and clay–siliceous mixed shale facies. In siliceous shale facies, which were mainly composed of organic pores, the surface area (SA) and pore volume (PV) were in the range of 5.20–10.91 m2
/g and 0.035–0.046 cm3
/g, respectively. Meanwhile, the pore size distribution (PSD) and fractal dimensions were in the range 14.2–26.1 nm and 2.511–2.609, respectively. I/S (illite-smectite mixed clay) was positively correlated with SA, PV, and fractal dimensions, while illite had a negative relationship with SA, PV, and fractal dimensions. I/S had a strong catalytic effect on organic matter for hydrocarbon generation, which was beneficial to the development of organic micropores, so I/S was conducive to pore structure complexity and the increase in SA and PV, while illite easily filled organic pores, which was not beneficial to the improvement of pore space. In clay–siliceous mixed shale facies, which mainly develop inorganic pores such as intergranular pores, SA and PV were in the range of 6.71–11.38 m2
/g and 0.030–0.041 cm3
/g, respectively. Meanwhile, PSD and fractal dimensions were in the range of 14.3–18.9 nm and 2.563–2.619, respectively. Quartz and I/S showed weak positive correlations with SA, PV, and fractal dimensions. The various compact modes between quartz particles and the disorder of I/S were conducive to the complexity of pore structure and the improvement of SA and PV. The research findings can provide a reference for the optimization and evaluation of shale gas favorable area of the Lower Yangtze Platform.
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