Structural and stratigraphic control on hypogene dissolution in carbonate rocks: case studies of cave analogues and implications for karst reservoirs

Pisani, Luca (2023) Structural and stratigraphic control on hypogene dissolution in carbonate rocks: case studies of cave analogues and implications for karst reservoirs, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, della vita e dell'ambiente, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10853.
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The aim of this research is to improve the understanding of the factors that control the formation of karst porosity in hypogene settings and its associated patterns of void-conduit networks. Subsurface voids created by hypogene dissolution may span from few microns to decametric tubes providing interconnected conduit systems and forming highly anisotropic permeability domains in many reservoirs. Characterizing the spatial-morphological organization of hypogene karst is a challenging task that has dramatic implications for the applied industry, given that only partial data can be acquired from the subsurface by indirect techniques. Therefore, two outcropping cave analogues are examined: the Cavallone-Bove Cave in the Majella Massif (Italy), and the karst systems of the Salitre Formation (Brazil). In the latter, a peculiar example of hypogene speleogenesis associated with silicification has been studied, providing an analogue of many karstified reservoirs hosted in cherts or cherty-carbonates within mixed sedimentary sequences. The first part of the thesis is focused on the relationships between fracture patterns and flow pathways in deformed units in: 1) a fold-and-thrust setting (Majella Massif); 2) a cratonic block (Brazil). These settings represent potential playgrounds for the migration and accumulation of geofluids, where hypogene conduits may affect flow pathways, fluid storage, and reservoir properties. The results indicate that localized deformation producing cross-formational fracture zones associated with anticline hinges or fault damage zones is critical for hypogene fluid migration and karstification. The second part of the thesis deals with the multidisciplinary study of hydrothermal silicification and hypogene dissolution in Calixto Cave (Brazil). Petrophysical analyses and a geochemical characterization of silica deposits are used to unravel the spatial-morphological organization of the conduit system and its speleogenesis. The novel results obtained from this cave shed new light on the relationship between hydrothermal silicification, hypogene dissolution and the development of multistorey cave systems in layered carbonate-siliciclastic sequences.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Pisani, Luca
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
fluid flow; hypogene karst; speleogenesis; deformation
Data di discussione
6 Luglio 2023

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