PRATHER, BRADFORD E., Shell Offshore Inc., New Orleans, LA
ABSTRACT: Origin of Dolostone Reservoir Rocks, Smackover Formation (Oxfordian), Northeastern Gulf Coast, U.S.A.
Geochemical and petrographic data suggest that, despite the effects of recrystallization, formation of regionally extensive dolostone reservoir rocks in the Smackover Formation can be deciphered. These data indicate that dolomitization took place in (1) seawater seepage, (2) reflux, (3) near-surface mixed-water, (4) shallow-burial mixed-water, and (5) deeper burial environments, which overlapped in time and space to form a platform-scale dolostone body composed of a complex mixture of dolomites.
Seawater-seepage and reflux dolomitization occurred in near-surface environments penecontemporaneous with deposition of the Smackover and overlying Haynesville formations. Dolomitization by seawater seepage occurred within an oolite grainstone sill that separated an intraplatform salt basin from the open Late Jurassic sea. Seawater flowed landward through the sill in response to evaporitic drawdown of brines in the isolated intraplatform basin during a lowstand of Late Jurassic sea level. Dolomite enriched in 18O located at the top of the Smackover suggests additional dolomitization by reflux of hypersaline brines. Reflux occurred as Buckner coastal sabkhas prograded over Smackover oolite grainstone shoreface deposits.
Vugs lined with shallow-burial calcite and dolomite cements indicate flushing of the Smackover grainstone aquifer with fresh water. Freshwater intrusion probably occurred along the Smackover's updip limit and subcrop following sea level lowstands during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. Leaching in the proximal part of the freshwater aquifer produced excellent-quality limestone reservoir rocks in the updip Smackover. Dolomitization in the contemporaneous downdip mixed connate/freshwater zone formed dolostone reservoir rocks with depleted isotopic compositions consistent with a shallow-burial mixed-water origin.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90989©1993 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 43rd Annual Meeting, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 20-22, 1993.