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Classifying chalk microtextures: sedimentary versus diagenetic origin (Cenomanian-Santonian, Paris Basin, France)
Saïag, J.; Collin, P.-Y.; Sizun, J.-P.; Herbst, F.; Faÿ‐Gomord, O.; Smith, C.C.; Caline, B.; Lasseur, E. (2019). Classifying chalk microtextures: sedimentary versus diagenetic origin (Cenomanian-Santonian, Paris Basin, France). Sedimentology 66(7): 2976-3007.
In: Sedimentology. Wiley-Blackwell: Amsterdam. ISSN 0037-0746; e-ISSN 1365-3091, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Chalk; classification; clay; diagenesis; microtexture; opal-CT;sedimentation; scanning electron microscope

Authors  Top 
  • Saïag, J.
  • Collin, P.-Y.
  • Sizun, J.-P.
  • Herbst, F.
  • Faÿ-Gomord, O., more
  • Smith, C.C.
  • Caline, B.
  • Lasseur, E.

    Microtexture describes the type of particles and their arrangement in matrix samples at scanning electron microscopy scale. Although a microtexture classification exists for micritic limestone, it cannot be directly applied to chalk. This study therefore proposes a classification of chalk microtextures and discusses the origin of microtexture variability. Chalk was sampled at thirteen spatio-temporal locations along the coastline of northern France (Cenomanian-Santonian). Four criteria are defined to describe, characterize and determine chalk matrix microtexture: (i) mineralogical content; (ii) biogenic fraction; (iii) micritic fraction; and (iv) cement fraction. From these criteria, two major groups are defined: Pure Chalk Microtexture Group, with seven classes, and Impure Chalk Microtexture Group, divided into two subgroups: Argillaceous Microtexture with four classes and Siliceous Microtexture with two classes. Microtexture variability is related both to initial sedimentation and to diagenesis. Sedimentological conditions (for example, climate and distance from shore) affect chalk composition (carbonate content and type of insoluble particles), thus influencing microtexture. Changes in Pure Chalk Microtexture are the result of increasing diagenetic intensity. This classification can also be used to characterize the microtexture of subsurface chalk reservoirs. Reservoir quality depends on the petrophysical and mechanical properties of reservoir rocks, which can be better understood by exploring their sedimentary and diagenetic history, revealed by the study of chalk microtexture variability.

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