Heavy mineral analysis is one of a group of provenance-based methods that complement traditional biostratigraphic correlation of clastic reservoirs. A variety of processes give rise to stratigraphic changes in sediment composition, including source area uplift, unroofing, changes in climatic conditions, extent of alluvial storage on the floodplain and the interplay between different depositional systems. Heavy mineral analysis is a reliable and proven technique for the correlation of clastic successions because prolonged and extensive research has provided detailed understanding of the effects of processes that alter the original provenance signal during the sedimentary cycle, such as hydrodynamics and diagenesis. The technique has been successfully applied to a wide range of clastic reservoirs, from fluvial to deep marine and from Devonian to Tertiary, using a combination of different types of parameters (provenance-sensitive mineral ratios, mineral chemistry and grain morphology). The application of heavy mineral analysis as a non-biostratigraphic correlation tool has two limitations. The first is that valid correlations cannot be made in sequences with uniform provenance and sediment transport history, but this is a problem inherent with all provenance-based methods. The other is that the technique can be applied only to coarse clastic lithologies and is not suitable for fine-grained sediments or carbonates.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- sandstone reservoir
- heavy mineral
- source area