Diagenesis is a key controlling factor on sandstone porosity and permeability. Understanding type, paragenetic sequence and spatial patterns of cements is thus important for assessing sandstone hydrocarbon reservoir properties. In this study Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry is used to evaluate the shape and spatial distribution of calcite concretions developed within the sand-prone fill of a turbidite channel. The studied channel-fill is entrenched into hemipelagic marlstones and include a lower conglomeratic sandstone loaded with marlstone rip-ups and an upper fill featuring a range of turbidite bed types, which, up-section and off the channel axis, are progressively finer grained and less amalgamated. Concretion shape analysis highlighted a continuum of equant to oblate shapes with flat-lying major axes and a cumulative volume fraction of ca. 22%. Equant to sub-equant concretions are ubiquitous and occur at different heights within beds, often developing around marlstone rip-ups. Conversely, elongated concretions are either strata-bound concretions or completely cemented beds which become volumetrically dominant up section and off the channel axis. The interparticle pore-space of concretions represents on average ca. 22% and is tightly filled by poikilotopic and blocky calcite cement precipitated near to maximum burial depth, whereas host sandstones lack calcite cements and show smectite clay cement and an average preserved porosity of ca. 15%. The oxygen and carbon isotopes of calcite cements point to the marlstone as the main source of carbonate ions, suggesting concretions developed during burial by either diffusion from rip-ups and mud caps or recrystallization of, matrix micrite. Results suggest that the process by which the carbonate-rich component was eroded from the substrate and trapped within the channel-fill is a key control on spatial distribution of calcite concretions, likely to reflect on spatial variability of reservoir properties.
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