Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 447–463 | Cite as

Discovery of rare hydrothermal alterations of oligocene Dolomite reservoirs in the Yingxi area, Qaidam, West China

  • Hao Zhang
  • Gang Chen
  • Yushuang Zhu
  • Chenggang HuangEmail author
  • Xianglong Ni
  • Xinmin Ma
  • Ping Zhang
Original Article


Comprehensive research into core and micro-structure characteristics, petrology, trace elements, and carbon and oxygen isotope geochemical characteristics led to the initial discovery of a rare dolomite reservoirs reformed by hydrothermal fluid in the Yingxi area of Qaidam Basin; however, the degree of hydrothermal alteration is weak. The evidence mainly includes the following aspects: (1) the main rock reservoirs are dense, mainly developed ankerite and calcite with a micritic structure. Albite, pyrite, barite, celestite, and other hydrothermal minerals are occasionally found in fractures. (2) Trace amounts of FeO and MnO enriched with carbonate minerals with an average amount of 4.112 and 0.186%, respectively, are present. They were significantly higher than penecontemporary metasomatism dolomites. The amount of Ca2+ and Mg2+ also saw increases, indicating the hydrothermal fluid is an alkaline brine rich in Ca2+, Fe2+, Sr2+, Mn2+, and some Mg2+. (3) REE has a large range of changes and some of them have higher ΣREE values, which suffered from hydrothermal alteration. Clear Eu negative anomalies appeared on REE distribution model curves. It reflected the REE composition characteristics of the lake environment’s specific hydrothermal fluid. It formed in a deep lake with an alkaline brine environment. (4)The change to the range of δ 18OPDB values is −6.8 to −3.6‰, with an average of −5.2‰. The values are between hydrothermal dolomite and penecontemporaneous metasomatism dolomite. This shows that the different types of dolomite have characteristics consistent with a penecontemporaneous metasomatic origin before hydrothermal fluid in a medium–low temperature condition reformed them. The degree of hydrothermal alteration is dependent upon the degree fractures developed as well as the distance between the sample and the hydrothermal channel. In short, the initial discovery of dolomite reservoirs reformed by hydrothermal fluid opens up new horizons for deep tight oil and gas exploration in Qaidam Basin’s Yingxi area in China. These results are substantial in the search for quality “desert” reservoirs present in deep stratum in the Yingxi area.


Hydrothermal alteration Intercrystalline pores Carbon and oxygen isotopes REE Yingxi area Qaidam 


  1. Allan JR, Wiggins WD (1993) Dolomite reservoirs: Geochemical techniques for evaluating origin and distribution. Tulsa: AAPG Continuing Education Course Note Series 36:19–32Google Scholar
  2. Bustillo MA, Arribas ME, Bustillo M (2002) Dolomitization and silicification in low-energy lacustrine carbonates (Paleogene, Madrid Basin, Spin). Sedime Geol 151(1/2):107–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cao Z, Yuan J, Huang C, Wei Z, Zhang S, Wang Y, She M (2014) Influence of plaster dissolution on calcite precipitation in clastic reservoirs under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions. Acta Petrolei Sinica 35(3):450–454 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  4. Chinese Energy Administration (2011) The people’s republic of china petroleum and natural gas industry standards SY/T 6285-2011- method for reservoir evaluation of oil and gas. Petroleum Industry Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  5. Dehler CM, Elrick M, Bloch JD, Crossey LJ, Karlstrom KE, Des Marais DJ (2005) High-resolution δ13C stratigraphy of Chuar Group (ca 770-742 Ma) Grand Canyon: implications for Mid-Neoproterozoic climate change. Geol Soc Am Bull 117(1/2):32–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fu S, Zhang D, Xue J, Zhang X (2013) Exploration potential and geological conditions of tight oil in the Qaidam Basin. Acta Sedimentol Sinica 31(4):672–682 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  7. Gasparrinia M, Bechstadta T, Bonib M (2006) Massive hydrothermal dolomites in the Southwestern Cantabrian Zone (Spain) and their relation to the Late Variscan evolution. Mar Petrol Geol 23(5):543–568 (in Portuguese) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Han Y, Ma Z (2003) Geochemistry. Geological Publishing House, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  9. Huang C, Yuan J, Cao Z, Zhang S, Wang Y, She M, Mi H (2014) Simulation experiment for the ankerite dissolution in clastic reservoir of saline lacustrine basin. Pet Geol Exp 36(5):650–655 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  10. Huang C, Zhao F, Yuan J, Wu L, Chen G (2015) The characteristics of dolomite reservoir in saline lacustrine Basin, Qaidam, China. Carbonates Evaporites 30(3):1–11. doi: 10.1007/s13146-015-0267-0 Google Scholar
  11. Huang C, Yuan J, Tian G, Wu L, Pan X, Hui Y (2016a) The geochemical characteristics and formation mechanism of the Eocene lacustrine dolomite reservoirs in the Western Qaidam. Geosci Front 23(3):230–242 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  12. Huang C, Yuan J, Wu L, Zhang X, Wu L, Pan X (2016b) Origin of continental facies dolomite and research methods in lacustrine basin. Lith Res 38(1):1–7 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  13. Keith ML, Weber JN (1964) Carbon and oxy genisotopic composition of selected limestones and fossils. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 28(10–11):1787–1816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kırmacı MZ, Akdağ K (2005) Origin of dolomite in the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene limestone turbidites, Eastern Pontides, Turkey. Sediment Geol 181(1):39–57Google Scholar
  15. Land LS (1985) The origin of massive dolomite. J Geol Edu 33(2):112–125Google Scholar
  16. Mao L, Yin H, Ji C, Xia G (2014) Petrography and carbon-oxygen isotope characteristics of the Cenozoic lacustrine carbonate rocks in Qaidam Basin. Geol Sci Technol Inf 33(1):41–48 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  17. Matthews A, Katz A (1977) Oxygen isotope fractionation during the dolomitization of calcium carbonate. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 41(10):1431–1438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Northrop DA, Clayton RN (1966) Oxygen isotope fractionation in systems containing dolomite. J Geol 74(2):174–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sun SS, McDonough WF (1989) Chemical and isotopic systematics of oceanic basalts: implications for mantle composition and processes. In: Sunders AD, Norry MJ (eds) Magmatism in the Ocean Basin. London Geological Society Special Publications 42:313–345Google Scholar
  20. Taylor R, McLennan SM (1985) The continental crust: Its composition and evolution. Blackwell, London, pp 57–72Google Scholar
  21. Tether ME, Wright VP (1990) Carbonate sedimentology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  22. Urey HC, Lowenstam HA, Epstein S, Mckinney CR (1951) Measurement of paleotemperatures and temperatures of the upper Cretaceous of England, Denmark, and the Southeastern United States. GSA Bull 62(4):399–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang BQ, Qiang ZT, Zhang F, Wang XZ, Wang Y, Cao W (2009) Isotope characteristics of dolomite from the fifth member of the Ordovician Majiagou Formation, the Ordos Basin. Geochimica 38(5):472–479 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  24. Wang C, Liu C, Xu H, Wang L, Zhang L (2013) Carbon and oxygen isotopes characteristics of Palaeocene saline lake facies carbonates in Jiangling depression and their environmental significance. Acta Geosci Sinica 34(5):567–576Google Scholar
  25. Warren JK (2000) Dolomite:occurrence, evolution and economically important associations. Earth-Sci 52:1–81Google Scholar
  26. Wen H, Zheng R, Qing H, Fan M, Li Y, Gong B (2014) Primary dolostone related to the Cretaceous lacustrine hydrothermal sedimentation in Qingxi sag, Jiuquan Basin on the northern Tibetan Plateau. Sci China Earth Sci 44(4):591–604 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  27. Wu L, Huang C, Yuan J, Cao Z, Wan C, Pan X, Zhang S, Li Z (2015) Double-porosity system of mixed sediments in the saline lacustrine Basin and its significance to Reservoir. J Earth Sci Environ 37(2):59–67 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  28. Yin C, Lin J, Zhou K, Li J (2007) Carbon and oxygen isotope characteristics and palaeoenvironmental implication of the Cenozoic lacustrine carbonate rocks in northern Qinghai Tibetan Plateau. J Palaeogeogr 9(3):303–312 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  29. Yuan J, Huang C, Cao Z, Li Z, Wan C, Xu L, Pan X, Wu L (2015a) The Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of saline lacustrine dolomite and Palaeoenvironmental significance: a case study of the lower Eocene Ganchaigou formation in Western Qaidam Basin. Geochemistry 44(3):254–266Google Scholar
  30. Yuan J, Huang C, Zhao F, Pan X (2015b) Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition, and Palaeoenvironmental significance of saline lacustrine dolomite from the Qaidam Basin, Western China. J Petrol Sci and Eng 135(11):596–607. doi: 10.1016/j.petrol.2015.10.024 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yuan J, Huang C, Xia Q, Cao Z, Zhao F, Wan C, Pan X (2016) The characteristics of carbonate reservoir, and formation mechanism of pores in the saline lacustrine basin: a case study of the lower Eocene ganchaigou formation in western Qaidam Basin. Geol Rev 62(1):111–126 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  32. Zheng YF, Chen JF (2000) Stable isotope geochemistry. Science Press, Beijing, pp 114–142 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  33. Zhou C, Zhang J, Li G, Yu Z (1997) Carbon and oxygen isotopic record of the early Cambrian from the Xiaotan section, Yunnan. South China. Sci Geol Sinica 32(2):201–211 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  34. Zhu Y, Jin Z, Hu W (2010) Hydrothermal recrystallization of the Lower Ordovician dolomite and its significance to reservoir in northern Tarim Basin. Sci China Earth Sci 40(2):156–170 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  35. Zhuo Q, Zhao M, Li Y, Wang Y (2014) Dynamic sealing evolution and hydrocarbon accumulation of evaporite cap rocks: an example from Kuqa foreland basin thrust belt Sinica Terrae. Acta Petrolei Sinica 35(5):847–856Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics/Department of GeologyNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Reservoir Description of the CNPCLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Northwest Branch of the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and DevelopmentPetrochinaLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations