Smectite Dehydration, Membrane Filtration, and Pore-Water Freshening in Deep Ultra-Low Permeability Formations: Deep Processes in the Nankai Accretionary Wedge

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:00 AM
Kevin M Brown1, James C Sample2, Emilie Even3, Dean Poeppe1, Pierre Henry4, Harold J Tobin5, Demian M Saffer6, Takehiro Hirose7, Sean Toczko8 and Lena Maeda8, (1)Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, United States, (2)Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, United States, (3)Osaka city University, Osaka, Sumiyoshi-ku,, Japan, (4)CEREGE - Col France, Aix-En-Provence, France, (5)University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, (6)Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States, (7)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Kanagawa, Japan, (8)JAMSTEC Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, CDEX, Kanagawa, Japan
We address the fundamental questions surrounding the nature of water and chemical transport processes deep within sedimentary basin and accretionary-wedge environments.

Consolidation and permeability studies conducted to 165 MPa (~10km depth) indicate that ultra-tight clay formations (10-18 m2 to10-21 m2) can substantially modify the fluids migrating through then. Pore-water extractions conducted on smectite/illite rich core samples obtained from 1-3 km depths at IODP (NanTroSEIZE, Chikyu) deep-riser drilling Site C0002, at the elevated loads required to squeeze waters from such deeply buried sediment (stresses up to 100 MPa),resulted in anomalous patterns of sequential freshening with progressive loading. More accurate laboratory investigations (both incremental loading and Constant Rate of Strain test) revealed that such freshening initiates above 20 MPa and progresses with consolidation to become greater than 20% by effective normal load of 165 MPa. Log-log plots of stress vs. hydraulic conductivity reveal that trends remain linear to elevated stresses and total porosities as low at 14%. The implications are that stress induced smectite dehydration and/or membrane filtration effects cause remarkable changes in pore water chemistry with fluid migration through deep, tight, clay-rich formations. These changes should occur in addition to any thermally induced diagenetic and clay-dehydration effects on pore water chemistry. Work is progressing to evaluate the impact of clay composition and temperature to ascertain if purely illitic compositions show similar trends and if the mass fractionation of water and other isotopes also occurs. Such studies will ascertain if the presence of smectite is a prerequisite for freshening or if membrane filtration is a major process in earth systems containing common clay minerals. The results have major implications for interpretations of mass chemical balances, pore water profiles, and the hydrologic, geochemical, and stress state controls on deep system behavior in all deep accretionary wedge and basin environments where clays are abundant. This research used samples provided by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).