QUARTZ AND CARBONATE DIAGENESIS IN THE MIDLAND BASIN
The aim of this project is to understand the variables controlling diagenetic variability in mudstones based on provenance and burial history and to differentiate consolidation behavior due to mechanical versus chemical compaction. The research is divided into three sub-projects:
1) Investigate the pressure, temperature, time, and provenance mechanisms responsible for variable diagenetic components and phases within a basin
2) Determine the impact of diagenesis on mechanical behavior
3) Quantify the impact of diagenesis during mudstone burial and consolidation through numerical modeling
The subject is mudstones from the Permian Spraberry and Wolfcamp Formations from the Permian Basin, west Texas. By combining compositional analyses with SEM-based elemental mapping we can understand the relationships between sediment provenance and primary authigenic phase (carbonate versus quartz) present in the rocks.