Reactivity of glauconitic clasts during burial diagenesis

Rikke Weibel, Nynke Keulen, Stephen Hillier, Henrik Friis, Henrik Ingermann Petersen, Mette Olivarius, Sebastian Næsby Malkki, Jesper Stokkendal, Niels Hemmingsen Schovsbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Palaeogene glauconitic reservoir sandstones in the produced Nini West oilfield in the Siri Canyon, Danish North Sea, are chosen as the first pilot CO2 storage site in Denmark. Since glauconitic clasts comprise up to 35 vol% of the sandstones, their stability is crucial for the reservoir permanence. The likely reactivity of glauconitic clasts during CO2 injection is evaluated from their changes during burial diagenesis (long-term reactions) as a contribution to experimental testing (short-term reactions) of sandstone resilience towards CO2. Cored wells penetrate the Palaeogene gravity-flow sandstone units in depth intervals of 1700 m (<52 °C) to 3100 m (107 °C). The depth range allows a detailed microscopic and geochemical investigation of diagenetic changes in mineralogical composition with increasing burial depth. Although the glauconitic clasts show a large variation in chemical composition, clear average trends of increasing K2O and decreasing Fe2O3 in glauconitic clasts are recorded with increasing burial depth down to 2600 m. This trend is caused by the gradually reduced number of expandable layers (smectite) in the mixed-layer glauconitic mica/Fe-smectite. This shift in smectitic content is accompanied by a change in authigenic minerals from berthierine, siderite, microquartz and opal coatings at shallow burial depth to chlorite, calcite and quartz overgrowths at burial > 2200 m. Chloritisation of glauconitic clasts is intensive in the central parts of the gravity-flow sandstone units in the deepest (2800–3000 m) and most distal settings. Consequently, authigenic chlorite precipitation in pores occurs at shallower burial depth than chloritisation of glauconitic clasts. The microporous structure of the glauconitic clasts controls the slow gradual illitisation during increased burial. Abrupt lowering of pore-water salinity is considered the main reason for expansion of smectite components in the mixed-layer glauconitic mica/Fe-smectite, opening of the micropores and thereby intense chloritisation of glauconitic clasts in the deep and distal gravity-flow units. Hence, glauconitic clasts are potentially highly reactive, although slow to react due to their microporous structure unless the water composition is distinctly changed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106519
Number of pages24
JournalSedimentary Geology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Burial depth
  • Chloritisation
  • Formation water composition
  • Glauconitic clasts
  • Illitisation
  • Microporosity

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


Dive into the research topics of 'Reactivity of glauconitic clasts during burial diagenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this