Chemical Compositions and Distribution Characteristics of Cements in Longmaxi Formation Shale, Southwest China

  • Wenda Zhou
  • Shuyun XieEmail author
  • Zhengyu Bao
  • Emmanuel John M. Carranza
  • Lei Lei
  • Zhenzhen Ma


Shale gas resources have been regarded as a viable energy source, and it is of great significance to characterize the shale composition of different cements, such as quartz and dolomite. In this research, chemical analysis and the multifractal method have been used to study the mineral compositions and petrophysical structures of cements in shale samples from the Longmaxi Formation, China. X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, field emission scanning electron microscopy, cathodoluminescence microscopy and C-O isotope analyses confirmed that cements in the Longmaxi Formation shales are mainly composed of Fe-bearing dolomite and quartz. Fe-bearing dolomite cements concentrate around dolomite as annuli, filling micron-sized inorganic primary pores. Quartz cements in the form of nanoparicles fill primary inter-crystalline pores among clay minerals. Theoretical calculation shows that the Fe-bearing dolomite cements formed slightly earlier than the quartz cements, but both were related to diagenetic illitization of smectite. Moreover, multifractal analysis reveals that the quartz cements are more irregularly distributed in pores than the Fe-bearing dolomite cements. These results suggest that the plugging effect of the quartz cements on the primary inoraganic pore structures is the dominant factor resulting in low interconnected porosity of shales, which are unfavorable for the enrichment of shale gas.

Key Words

cement pore structure multifractal shale gas reservoir 


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This work was financially funded by National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2016YFC0600501), and the support from Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41572315, 41872250), and also supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (No. CUG170104). The authors would like to thank Dr. Zhang and Mr. Wang in the Key Lab of Carbonate Reservoirs, CNPC, Hangzhou. Also the authors want to express their sincere appreciations for the English polishing and constructive suggestions of the anonymous reviewers during the peer review. The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources (GPMR), School of Earth SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemistry and Material SciencesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Geological Sciences, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalWestvilleSouth Africa
  4. 4.Economic Geology Research Centre (EGRU)James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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