Erosional unconformities of subaerial origin are created by tectonic uplifts and eustatic sea level fall. Most erosional unconformities developed on sandstones are planes of increased porosity because uplifted sandstones are exposed to undersaturated CO2-charged meteoric waters that result in dissolution of unstable framework grains and cements. The chemical weathering of sandstones is intensified in humid regions by the heavy rainfall, soil zones, lush vegetation, and accompanying voluminous production of organic and inorganic acids. Erosional unconformities are considered hydrologically open systems because of abundant supply of fresh meteoric water and relatively unrestricted transport of dissolved constituents away from the site of dissolution, causing a ne gain in porosity near unconformities. Thus, porosity in sandstones tends to increase toward overlying unconformities. Such porosity trends have been observed in hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoirs in Alaska, Algeria, Australia, China, Libya, Netherlands, Norwegian North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Texas. A common attribute of these reservoirs is that they were all subaerially exposed under heavy rainfall conditions. An empirical model has been developed for the Triassic and Jurassic sandstone reservoirs in the Norwegian North Sea on the basis of the observed relationship that shows an increase in porosity in these reservoirs with increasing proximity to the overlying base of Cretaceous unconformity. An important practical attribute of this model is that it allows for the prediction of orosity in the neighboring undrilled areas by recognizing the base of Cretaceous unconformity in seismic reflection profiles and by constructing subcrop maps.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91022©1989 AAPG Annual Convention, April 23-26, 1989, San Antonio, Texas.