Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Insights into Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation Shale on the Yangtze Platform, South China

Abstract

Shales from the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation of Yangtze Platform have been widely investigated due to its shale gas potential. To better illustrate the pore structure and fractal characteristics of shale, a series of experiments were conducted on outcrop samples from the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation on Yangtze Platform, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and low-temperature nitrogen adsorption. Frenkel-Halsey-Hill (FHH) model was adopted to calculate the fractal dimensions. Furthermore, the relationships between fractal dimensions and pore structure parameters and mineral composition are discussed. FE-SEM observation results show that interparticle pores are most developed in shale, followed by intraparticle pores. This study identified the fractal dimensions D1 (ranging from 2.558 0 to 2.710 2) and D2 (ranging from 2.541 5 to 2.765 2). The pore structure of the Niutitang Formation shale is primarily controlled by quartz and clay content. Fractal dimensions are able to characterize the pore structure complexity of Niutitang Formation shale because D1 and D2 correlate well with average pore diameter and quartz content.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References Cited

  1. Bankole, S. A., Buckman, J., Stow, D., et al., 2019. Automated Image Analysis of Mud and Mudrock Microstructure and Characteristics of He-mipelagic Sediments: IODP Expedition 339. Journal of Earth Science, 30(2): 407–421. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-019-1210-4

  2. Bertier, P., Schweinar, K., Stanjek, H., et al., 2016. On the Use and Abuse of N2 Physisorption for the Characterisation of the Pore Structure of Shales. Cms Workshop Lectures, 21: 151–161. https://doi.org/10.1346/cms-wls-21.12

  3. Chalmers, G. R., Bustin, R. M., Power, I. M., 2012. Characterization of Gas Shale Pore Systems by Porosimetry, Pycnometry, Surface Area, and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy/transmission Electron Microscopy Image Analyses: Examples from the Barnett, Woodford, Haynesville, Marcellus, and Doig Units. AAPG Bulletin, 96(6): 1099–1119. https://doi.org/10.1306/10171111052

  4. Chang, S., Feng, Q. L., Zhang, L., 2018. New Siliceous Microfossils from the Terreneuvian Yanjiahe Formation, South China: The Possible Earliest Radiolarian Fossil Record. Journal of Earth Science, 29(4): 912–919. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-017-0960-0

  5. Chen, L., Lu, Y. C., Jiang, S., et al., 2015. Heterogeneity of the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Marine Shale in the Southeast Sichuan Basin of China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 65: 232–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.04.003

  6. Chen, Q., Zhang, J. C., Tang, X., et al., 2016. Relationship between Pore Type and Pore Size of Marine Shale: An Example from the Sinian–Cambrian Formation, Upper Yangtze Region, South China. International Journal of Coal Geology, 158: 13–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2016.03.001

  7. Chen, Y. Y., Mastalerz, M., Schimmelmann, A., 2014. Heterogeneity of Shale Documented by Micro-FTIR and Image Analysis. Journal of Microscopy, 256(3): 177–189. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmi.12169

  8. Clarkson, C. R., Solano, N., Bustin, R. M., et al., 2013. Pore Structure Characterization of North American Shale Gas Reservoirs Using USANS/SANS, Gas Adsorption, and Mercury Intrusion. Fuel, 103: 606–616. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2012.06.119

  9. Curtis, M. E., Cardott, B. J., Sondergeld, C. H., et al., 2012. Development of Organic Porosity in the Woodford Shale with Increasing Thermal Maturity. International Journal of Coal Geology, 103: 26–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2012.08.004

  10. Fu, H. J., Tang, D. Z., Xu, T., et al., 2017. Characteristics of Pore Structure and Fractal Dimension of Low-Rank Coal: A Case Study of Lower Jurassic Xishanyao Coal in the Southern Junggar Basin, NW China. Fuel, 193: 254–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.11.069

  11. Gregg, S. J., Sing, K. S. W., 1982. Adsorption, Surface Area and Porosity: 2nd Ed.. Academic Press, London

  12. Guo, Q. J., Strauss, H., Zhu, M. Y., et al., 2013. High Resolution Organic Carbon Isotope Stratigraphy from a Slope to Basinal Setting on the Yangtze Platform, South China: Implications for the Ediacaran–Cambrian Transition. Precambrian Research, 225: 209–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2011.10.003

  13. Hazra, B., Wood, D. A., Vishal, V., et al., 2018. Porosity Controls and Fractal Disposition of Organic-Rich Permian Shales Using Low-Pressure Adsorption Techniques. Fuel, 220: 837–848. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2018.02.023

  14. Hu, J. G., Tang, S. H., Zhang, S. H., 2016. Investigation of Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Shales in Western Hunan and Hubei Provinces in China. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 28: 522–535. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.12.024

  15. Li, A., Ding, W. L., He, J. H., et al., 2016. Investigation of Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of Organic-Rich Shale Reservoirs: A Case Study of Lower Cambrian Qiongzhusi Formation in Malong Block of Eastern Yunnan Province, South China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 70: 46–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.11.004

  16. Li, J. Q., Zhang, P. F., Lu, S. F., et al., 2018. Scale-Dependent Nature of Porosity and Pore Size Distribution in Lacustrine Shales: An Investigation by BIB-SEM and X-Ray CT Methods. Journal of Earth Science, 30(4): 823–833. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-018-0835-z

  17. Li, Y., Wang, Z. S., Pan, Z. J., et al., 2019. Pore Structure and Its Fractal Dimensions of Transitional Shale: A Cross-Section from East Margin of the Ordos Basin, China. Fuel, 241: 417–431. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2018.12.066

  18. Li, Z. Q., Shen, X., Qi, Z. Y., et al., 2018. Study on the Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of Marine and Continental Shale Based on Mercury Porosimetry, N2 Adsorption and NMR Methods. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 53: 12–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2018.02.027

  19. Liang, C., Jiang, Z. X., Cao, Y. C., et al., 2017. Sedimentary Characteristics and Paleoenvironment of Shale in the Wufeng-Longmaxi Formation, North Guizhou Province, and Its Shale Gas Potential. Journal of Earth Science, 28(6): 1020–1031. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-016-0932-x

  20. Liang, L. X., Xiong, J., Liu, X. J., 2015. An Investigation of the Fractal Characteristics of the Upper Ordovician Wufeng Formation Shale Using Nitrogen Adsorption Analysis. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 27: 402–409. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.07.023

  21. Liu, X. F., Song, D. Z., He, X. Q., et al., 2019. Nanopore Structure of Deep-Burial Coals Explored by AFM. Fuel, 246: 9–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2019.02.090

  22. Liu, X. J., Xiong, J., Liang, L. X., 2015. Investigation of Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of Organic-Rich Yanchang Formation Shale in Central China by Nitrogen Adsorption/Desorption Analysis. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 22: 62–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2014.11.020

  23. Loucks, R. G., Reed, R. M., Ruppel, S. C., et al., 2009. Morphology, Genesis, and Distribution of Nanometer-Scale Pores in Siliceous Mudstones of the Mississippian Barnett Shale. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 79(12): 848–861. https://doi.org/10.2110/jsr.2009.092

  24. Loucks, R. G., Reed, R. M., Ruppel, S. C., et al., 2012. Spectrum of Pore Types and Networks in Mudrocks and a Descriptive Classification for Matrix-Related Mudrock Pores. AAPG Bulletin, 96(6): 1071–1098. https://doi.org/10.1306/08171111061

  25. Loucks, R. G., Ruppel, S. C., 2007. Mississippian Barnett Shale: Lithofacies and Depositional Setting of a Deep-Water Shale-Gas Succession in the Fort Worth Basin, Texas. AAPG Bulletin, 91(4): 579–601. https://doi.org/10.1306/11020606059

  26. Lü, D. W., Wang, D. D., Li, Z. X., et al., 2017. Depositional Environment, Sequence Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Mineralization Mechanism in the Coal Bed- and Oil Shale-Bearing Succession: A Case from the Pa-leogene Huangxian Basin of China. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 148: 32–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2016.09.028

  27. Mandelbrot, B. B., 1975. Les Objects Fractals: Form, Hasard et Dimension. Flammarion, Paris

  28. Nelson, P. H., 2009. Pore-Throat Sizes in Sandstones, Tight Sandstones, and Shales. AAPG Bulletin, 93(3): 329–340. https://doi.org/10.1306/10240808059

  29. Niu, X., Yan, D. T., Zhuang, X. G., et al., 2018. Origin of Quartz in the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation in South Hubei Province, Upper Yangtze Platform. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 96: 271–287. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.06.005

  30. Pfeifer, P., Avnir, D., 1983. Chemistry in Noninteger Dimensions between Two and Three. I. Fractal Theory of Heterogeneous Surfaces. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 79(7): 3558–3565. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.446210

  31. Pyun, S. I., Rhee, C. K., 2004. An Investigation of Fractal Characteristics of Mesoporous Carbon Electrodes with Various Pore Structures. Electrochimica Acta, 49(24): 4171–4180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2004.04.012

  32. Shao, X. H., Pang, X. Q., Li, Q. W., et al., 2017. Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of Organic-Rich Shales: A Case Study of the Lower Silurian Longmaxi Shales in the Sichuan Basin, SW China. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 80: 192–202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.11.025

  33. Sing, K. S. W., Everett, D. H., Haul, R. A. W., et al., 1985. Reporting Phy-sisorption Data for Gas/Solid Systems with Special Reference to the Determination of Surface Area and Porosity. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 57(4): 603–619. https://doi.org/10.1351/pac198557040603

  34. Steele, W. A., 1983. Adsorption Surface Area and Porosity. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 94(2): 597–598. https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9797(83)90305-3

  35. Steiner, M., Li, G. X., Qian, Y., et al., 2007. Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian Small Shelly Fossil Assemblages and a Revised Biostratigraphic Correlation of the Yangtze Platform (China). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 254(1/2): 67–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.03.046

  36. Sun, M. D., Yu, B. S., Hu, Q. H., et al., 2017. Pore Characteristics of Longmaxi Shale Gas Reservoir in the Northwest of Guizhou, China: Investigations Using Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS), Helium Pycnometry, and Gas Sorption Isotherm. International Journal of Coal Geology, 171: 61–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2016.12.004

  37. Sun, W., Zuo, Y. J., Wu, Z. H., et al., 2019. Fractal Analysis of Pores and the Pore Structure of the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Shale in Northern Guizhou Province: Investigations Using NMR, SEM and Image Analyses. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 99: 416–428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.10.042

  38. Sun, Y. F., Zhao, Y. X., Yuan, L., 2018. Quantifying Nano-Pore Heterogeneity and Anisotropy in Gas Shale by Synchrotron Radiation Nano-CT. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 258: 8–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micromeso.2017.08.049

  39. Tang, X. L., Jiang, Z. X., Huang, H. X., et al., 2016. Lithofacies Characte ristics and Its Effect on Gas Storage of the Silurian Longmaxi Marine Shale in the Southeast Sichuan Basin, China. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 28: 338–346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.12.026

  40. Tang, X. L., Jiang, Z. X., Li, Z., et al., 2015. The Effect of the Variation in Material Composition on the Heterogeneous Pore Structure of High-Maturity Shale of the Silurian Longmaxi Formation in the Southeastern Sichuan Basin, China. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 23: 464–473. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.02.031

  41. Wang, H. J., Wu, W., Chen, T., et al., 2019. Pore Structure and Fractal Analysis of Shale Oil Reservoirs: A Case Study of the Paleogene Shahejie Formation in the Dongying Depression, Bohai Bay, China. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 177: 711–723. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2019.02.081

  42. Wang, H. Z., Mo, X. X., 1995. An Outline of the Tectonic Evolution of China. Episodes, 18(1/2): 6–16. https://doi.org/10.18814/epiiugs/1995/v18i1.2/003

  43. Wang, J. B., Bao, H. Y., Lu, Y. Q., et al., 2019. Quantitative Characterization and Main Controlling Factors of Shale Gas Occurrence in Jiaoshiba Area, Fuling. Earth Science, 44(3): 1001–1011. https://doi.org/10.3799/dqkx.2018.388 (in Chinese with English Abstract)

  44. Wang, J., Li, Z., 2003. History of Neoproterozoic Rift Basins in South China: Implications for Rodinia Break-Up. Precambrian Research, 122(1/2/3/4): 141–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0301-9268(02)00209-7

  45. Wang, P. F., Jiang, Z. X., Yin, L. S., et al., 2017. Lithofacies Classification and Its Effect on Pore Structure of the Cambrian Marine Shale in the Upper Yangtze Platform, South China: Evidence from FE-SEM and Gas Adsorption Analysis. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 156: 307–321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2017.06.011

  46. Wang, Y., Zhu, Y. M., Liu, S. M., et al., 2016. Pore Characterization and Its Impact on Methane Adsorption Capacity for Organic-Rich Marine Shales. Fuel, 181: 227–237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.04.082

  47. Wei, X. F., Liu, R. B., Zhang, T. S., et al., 2013. Micro-Pores Structure Characteristics and Development Control Factors of Shale Gas Reservoir: A Case of Longmaxi Formation in XX Area of Southern Sichan and Northern Guizhou. Natural Gas Geoscience, 4(5): 1048–1059 (in Chinese with English Abstract)

  48. Wu, C. J., Tuo, J. C., Zhang, L. F., et al., 2017. Pore Characteristics Differences between Clay-Rich and Clay-Poor Shales of the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation in the Northern Guizhou Area, and Insights into Shale Gas Storage Mechanisms. International Journal of Coal Geology, 178: 13–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2017.04.009

  49. Xu, H., Zhou, W., Zhang, R., et al., 2019. Characterizations of Pore, Mineral and Petrographic Properties of Marine Shale Using Multiple Techniques and Their Implications on Gas Storage Capability for Sichuan Longmaxi Gas Shale Field in China. Fuel, 241: 360–371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2018.12.035

  50. Yang, F., Ning, Z. F., Wang, Q., et al., 2016. Pore Structure of Cambrian Shales from the Sichuan Basin in China and Implications to Gas Storage. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 70: 14–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2015.11.001

  51. Yang, X. Q., Fan, T. L., Wu, Y., 2016. Lithofacies and Cyclicity of the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Shale in the Mayang Basin of Western Hunan, South China. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 28: 74–86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.11.007

  52. Yao, Y. B., Liu, D. M., Tang, D. Z., et al., 2008. Fractal Characterization of Adsorption-Pores of Coals from North China: An Investigation on CH4 Adsorption Capacity of Coals. International Journal of Coal Geology, 73(1): 27–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2007.07.003

  53. Zeng, W. T., Zhang, J. C., Ding, W. L., et al., 2014. The Gas Content of Continental Yanchang Shale and It Main Controlling Factors: A Case Study of Liuping-171 Well in Ordos Basin. Natural Gas Geoscience, 25(2): 291–301. https://doi.org/10.11764/j.issn.1672-1926.2014.02.0291 (in Chinese with English Abstract)

  54. Zhang, S. L., Yan, J. P., Hu, Q. H., et al., 2019. Integrated NMR and FE-SEM Methods for Pore Structure Characterization of Shahejie Shale from the Dongying Depression, Bohai Bay Basin. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 100: 85–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.11.003

  55. Zhou, L., Kang, Z. H., 2016. Fractal Characterization of Pores in Shales Using NMR: A Case Study from the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation in the Middle Yangtze Platform, Southwest China. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 35: 860–872. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2016.09.030

  56. Zhu, R. K., Jin, X., Wang, X. Q., et al., 2018. Multi-Scale Digital Rock Evaluation on Complex Reservoir. Earth Science, 43(5): 1773–1782. https://doi.org/10.3799/dqkx.2018.429 (in Chinese with English Abstract)

  57. Zou, C. N., Zhu, R. K., Bai, B, et al., 2011. First Discovery of Nano-Pore Throat in Oil and Gas Reservoir in China and Its Scientific Value. Acta Petrologica Sinica, 27(6): 1857–1864. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-011-3157-6 (in Chinese with English Abstract)

Download references

Acknowledgments

We sincerely appreciate the editor and reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41690131, 41572327, 41273001) and the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities (No. B14031). The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1259-0.

Author information

Correspondence to Detian Yan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Liu, Z., Yan, D. & Niu, X. Insights into Pore Structure and Fractal Characteristics of the Lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation Shale on the Yangtze Platform, South China. J. Earth Sci. 31, 169–180 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-020-1259-0

Download citation

Key words

  • Niutitang Formation
  • Yangtze area
  • shale
  • pore structure
  • fractal features