Porosity in Carbonates

  • Troyee DasguptaEmail author
  • Soumyajit Mukherjee
Part of the Advances in Oil and Gas Exploration & Production book series (AOGEP)


Porosity in carbonate rocks, most commonly limestones and dolostones, is of great importance to study since around half of world’s hydrocarbon reserves are made up of dolomite and limestone, which formed mostly in a shallow marine environment and usually close to where such sediments originate from the source rocks. Carbonates possess both primary and secondary porosities, which reduces with progressive burial leading to increasing rigidity of the rock. Several classifications of carbonate rocks are available. These are based on texture, depositional environments (the three kinds of carbonate factories), energy of the depositional environment, mud to grain ratio (volume-wise), grain to micrite ratio, porosity-permeability parameters, depositional-, diagenetic- and biological issues etc. Out of them, those by Folk and Dunham have been entered most of the text books on sedimentology. Carbonates more commonly display dissolution, cementation, recrystallization and grain replacement than the siliciclastic deposits. The porosity-permeability relation in carbonates may or may not be linear. Several schemes of classification of porosity of carbonates are available. Archi’s scheme (based on qualitative evaluation of texture and porosity), the Choquette-Pray scheme (utilizes depositional and diagenetic changes in the rock), the Lucia scheme (works on inter-relationship between porosity, permeability and the particle size) etc.


  1. Ahr WM (2008) Geology of carbonate rocks. Wiley Publication, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Archie GE (1952) Classification of carbonate reservoir rocks and petrophysical considerations. AAPG Bull 36:278–298Google Scholar
  3. Bagrintseva KI (1977) Carbonate rocks, oil and gas reservoirs. Izdated’stvoNedra, Moscow, 231 ppGoogle Scholar
  4. Bissell HJ, Chilingar GV (1967) Classification of sedimentary carbonate rocks. In: Carbonate rocks-origin, occurrence and classification. Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam-London-New York, pp 87–168Google Scholar
  5. Choquette PW, Pray LC (1970) Geological nomenclature and classification of porosity in sedimentary carbonates. AAPG Bull 54:207–250Google Scholar
  6. Craze RC (1950) Performance of limestone reservoirs. J Petrol Technol 189:287–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dunham RJ (1962) Classification of carbonate rocks according to depositional texture. In: Classification of carbonate rocks. In: Ham WE (ed) Classification of Carbonate Rocks–A Symposium. AAPG Memoir, pp 108–121Google Scholar
  8. Folk RL (1959) Practical petrographic classification of limestones. AAPG Bull 43:1–38Google Scholar
  9. Folk RL (1962) Spectral subdivision of limestone types. In: Ham WE (ed) Classification of carbonate rocks. AAPG Memoir No 1, Tulsa, OK, pp 62–84Google Scholar
  10. Folk RL (1980) Petrology of sedimentary rocks. Hemphill Publishing CompanyGoogle Scholar
  11. Ham WE, Pray LC (1962) Modern concepts and classifications of carbonate rocks. In: Classification of carbonate rocks. AAPG Memoir No 1, pp 2–19Google Scholar
  12. Harris PM, Christopher G, Kendall C, Lerche I (1985) Carbonate cementation—a brief review, Society for Sedimentary Geology, Vol 36. Scholar
  13. Lønøy A (2006) Making sense of carbonate pore systems. AAPG Bull 90:1381–1405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lucia FJ (1983) Petrophysical parameters estimated from visual descriptions of carbonate rocks: a field classification of carbonate pore space. J Pet Technol 35:629–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mazzullo SJ, Chilingarian GV (1992) Diagenesis and origin of porosity. In: Chilingarian GV, Mazzullo SJ, Rieke HH (eds) Carbonate reservoir characterization: a geologic-engineering analysis, Part I: Elsevier Publ. Co., Amsterdam, Developments in Petroleum Science 30, pp. 199–270Google Scholar
  16. Milliman JD (1974) Recent sedimentary carbonates. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p 375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Moore CH (1989) Carbonate diagenesis and porosity. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  18. Moore CH (2001) Carbonate reservoirs: porosity evolution and diagenesis in a sequence stratigraphic framework. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p 444Google Scholar
  19. Moore C, Wade WJ (2013) Carbonate reservoirs: porosity and diagenesis in a sequence stratigraphic framework, 2nd edn, vol 67Google Scholar
  20. Mukherjee S, Kumar N (2018) A first-order model for temperature rise for uniform and differential compression of sediments in basins. Int J Earth Sci 107:2999–3004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Laubach SE, Eichhubl P, Olson JE (2009) Fracture diagenesis and producibility in tight gas sandstones. In: Carr T, D’Agostino T, Ambrose W, Pashin J, Rosen NC (eds) Unconventional energy resources: making the unconventional conventional. 29th Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins research conference, pp 438–499Google Scholar
  22. Lees A (1975) Possible influence of salinity and temperature on modern shelf carbonate sedimentation. Mar Geol 19:159–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Leighton MW, Pendexter C (1962) Carbonate rock types. In: Ham WE (ed) Classification of carbonate rocks, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Mem. 1, pp 33–61Google Scholar
  24. Lucia FJ (1995) Rock-fabric/petrophysical classification of carbonate pore space for reservoir characterization. AAPG Bull 79(9):1275–1300Google Scholar
  25. Plumley WJ, Risley GA, Graves Jr, Kaley ME (1962) Energy index for limestone interpretation and classification. American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
  26. Reeder RJ (1983) Carbonates: mineralogy and chemistry. Reviews in Mineralogy, vol 11. Mineralogical Society of America, 394 ppGoogle Scholar
  27. Riding R (2002) Structure and composition of organic reefs and carbonate mud mounds; concepts and categories. Earth Sci Rev 58:163–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schlager W (2005) Carbonate sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy. SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology. SEPM, Tulsa. ISBN 1-56576-116-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schlanger SO, Douglas RG (1974) The pelagic oozechalk-limestone transition and its implications for marine stratigraphy. Pelagic Sed 1:117–148Google Scholar
  30. Scholle PA (1978) A Color Illustrated Guide to Carbonate Rock Constituents, Textures, Cements, and Porosities. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 27. xiii + 241 pp., numerous colour plates. Tulsa, Oklahoma. IJF 115(6):473. Scholar
  31. Thomas GE (1962) Grouping of carbonate rocks into textural and porosity units for mapping purposes. In: Ham WE (ed) Classification of carbonate rocks—a symposium. Am. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. vol 1, p 193Google Scholar
  32. Todd DK, Mays LW (2012) Groundwater hydrology, 3rd edn. Wiley-India Edition, pp 86–145Google Scholar
  33. Tucker M, Wright VP (1990) Carbonate sedimentology. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, p 482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Watts NL (1983) Microfractures in chalks of Albuskjell Field, Norwegian Sector, North Sea: possible origin and distribution. AAPG Bull 67:201–234Google Scholar
  35. Wilson JL (1975) Carbonate facies in geologic history. Springer-Verlag, New York, p 471CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geology, Geophysics and Petrophysics (Exploration)Reliance Industries LimitedNavi MumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations