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Minerals 2018, 8(9), 408;

Structural Control on Clay Mineral Authigenesis in Faulted Arkosic Sandstone of the Rio do Peixe Basin, Brazil

Post-Graduation Program on Geodynamics and Geophysics, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN 59078-970, Brazil
Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, I-43124 Parma, Italy
Department of Geology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN 59078-970, Brazil
Department of Petroleum Engineering, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campina Grande, PB 58100-000, Brazil
Petrobras Research Center—CENPES, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-915, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Control of Mineral Deposits: Theory and Reality)
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Clay minerals in structurally complex settings influence fault zone behavior and characteristics such as permeability and frictional properties. This work aims to understand the role of fault zones on clay authigenesis in arkosic, high-porosity sandstones of the Cretaceous Rio do Peixe basin, northeast Brazil. We integrated field, petrographic and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations with X-ray diffraction data (bulk and clay-size fractions). Fault zones in the field are characterized by low-porosity deformation bands, typical secondary structures developed in high-porosity sandstones. Laboratory results indicate that in the host rock far from faults, smectite, illite and subordinately kaolinite, are present within the pores of the Rio do Peixe sandstones. Such clay minerals formed after sediment deposition, most likely during shallow diagenetic processes (feldspar dissolution) associated with meteoric water circulation. Surprisingly, within fault zones the same clay minerals are absent or are present in amounts which are significantly lower than those in the undeformed sandstone. This occurs because fault activity obliterates porosity and reduces permeability by cataclasis, thus: (1) destroying the space in which clay minerals can form; and (2) providing a generally impermeable tight fabric in which external meteoric fluid flow is inhibited. We conclude that the development of fault zones in high-porosity arkosic sandstones, contrary to other low-porosity lithologies, inhibits clay mineral authigenesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: fault zones; deformation bands; clay authigenesis; shallow diagenesis fault zones; deformation bands; clay authigenesis; shallow diagenesis

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Maciel, I.B.; Dettori, A.; Balsamo, F.; Bezerra, F.H.; Vieira, M.M.; Nogueira, F.C.; Salvioli-Mariani, E.; Sousa, J.A.B. Structural Control on Clay Mineral Authigenesis in Faulted Arkosic Sandstone of the Rio do Peixe Basin, Brazil. Minerals 2018, 8, 408.

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