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ABSTRACT Hopeman sandstone is late Permian aged sedimentary formation. The depositional environment of the formation was Aeolian; the sediments were deposited in arid desert of Pangea. The outcrops of this formation along the coastal strip of Moray Firth provide an opportunity to explore its properties. This is necessary because Hopeman sandstone is analogous to Rotliegend sandstone – the principal gas-bearing formation in the southern North Sea. The Hopeman sandstone is composed of well sorted, rounded grains of fine- to medium-size. The large scale cross-bedding is typical; the colour of the formation varies from yellow to dark brown. Cementation varies through different localities. Hopeman sandstone has excellent reservoir properties: high porosity, permeability, net-to-gross ratio. The reservoir potential is diminished by possible sand production caused by moderate cementation and granulation seams at certain localities. Burghead Sandstone is Triassic formation cropping out around Burghead Village. The depositional environment of this formation is fluvial with distinctive trough bedding. The sorting is poor – sizes vary from fine sand grains to pebbles. The clasts are rounded, cemented by silica or carbonate. The sandstone has considerable porosity and permeability, and high net-to-gross ratio, which leads to significant reservoir quality. INTRODUCTION This report is written on the field geology of the southern coast of Moray Firth, Morayshire. Moray Firth is a large triangular inlet of the North Sea in north-east Scotland. The exact field trip destination was the exposures of sedimentary clastic rocks in a coastal area between the villages of Hopeman and Burghead (Fig.1). There were 6 localities that were observed: 1-2) Covesea beach sandstones, lying to the west from Covesea lighthouse, 3) sandstone slabs from Clashach quarry and 4) nearby Covebay, 5) Daisy rocks, and 6) sandstone rocks in Burghead Harbour. The objectives of this report are to (a) give the geological description of observed rocks, including lithology, the facies variation, sedimentary structures, and (b) give the interpretation of the formations as a potential reservoir, i.e. determining characteristics such as porosity, permeability, net-to-gross ratio. The detailed study
2). There is obvious large-scale cross-bedding with layers inclining 30 degrees towards south. suggesting that paleocurrents had N-S direction. caused the deformation of the rocks (Ogilvie. signifying the presence of iron oxide cementing. Air. cementation is medium as the rock is a bit friable. the whole area of Moray Firth was a part of the giant supercontinent geographically Figure 1. Glennie and Hopkins 2000).and mid-Permian aged Rotliegend sandstone formations in the southern basin of North Sea. escaping the unconsolidated dune formations during flooding. a narrow strip of Hopeman sandstone crops out along the southern Moray Coast. The maximum height of rocks is about 40 m. The Hopeman sandstone is composed of well rounded. Narrow strip of Jurassic-Triassic sedimentary rocks on the southern Coast of Moray Firth was Pangea located in and the latitude of 15-20° north. The facies indicate the Aeolian deposition environment. The porosity and permeability . The upper part of the exposures is deformed by processes that took place during the transgression of Zechstein Sea into the Central North Sea Basin in early Triassic period. Substantial exposures of Hopeman sandstone near the Covesea Golflinks (Fig. arid desert. The grains are bonded with silica cementing agent. The sandstone is well sorted by grain sizes. At that time. DATA SECTION & OBSERVATIONS Hopeman sandstones are late Permian sedimentary clastic formations deposited approximately 255 million years ago. Rotliegend sandstone formation is the principal gas bearing formation on the southern part of North Sea. The formation pinches out towards the south. fine. Sedimentation process took place in hot. Nowadays. whereas under the seafloor it reaches 150 m.to medium-sized grains. The marks of rust are present. First Locality: Covesea beach (A).of these formations is important because they are similar in geological features to early.
At the top of the structure sandstones. The main cementing agent is also the silica cement with marks of iron oxide cement. net-to-gross ratio is remarkably high.3). Large scale crossbedding can be obviously seen. They are completely impermeable and contain high percentage of BaSO4 Third Locality: Clashach Quarry. The huge fossiliferous slabs are displayed near the Clashach Quarry. Second locality: Covesea beach (B). The age of these slabs is late Permian and they are produced from . It was situated to the west from the first one. Both the porosity and permeability of the rocks are good. but cementation is more intense. Net-to-gross ratio is almost 100%. Due to compression tectonic forces lots of granulation seams were generated. The colour of the rocks is from pale yellow to saturated brown with greenish tints. but at this locality barium sulphate is present. These seams contain a large percentage of barium sulphate cement and are perfectly impermeable (Fig. transformed by Zechstein Sea of the sandstone is particularly good. Hopeman Sandstone Outcrop.Figure 2. Figure 3. The colour of the rocks varies from yellow to brown. The texture of the sandstone is identical to previous locality. Granulation seam generated as a result of compression tectonic forces.
Hopeman sandstone formation.4). magnetostratigraphic and other methods. Fossils are immensely useful tools for determining the age of the rocks along with the radiometric. which inhabited the area in the late Permian period (Fig. The slabs demonstrate prominent trace fossils of prehistoric reptiles. .
The to be highly cemented during a sandstone on this side is made of well sorted. hollowed out by seawater. and it is also part of Hopeman .Fourth Locality: Covebay. This caused the left side of the fault Figure 5.to medium-sized grains. On the footwall the sandstone is impermeable. whereas the hanging wall is a nearwall.5). the slickenside transformed into impermeable rock. rounded. Sandstone slab demonstrating fossil traces nerby Clashach Quarry foot wall. Although it is a highangled fault (approximately 65-75 degrees). There a distinct example of reverse fault can be observed (Fig. which is associated with extension of the crust. On the hanging compression forces. fine. but later compression forces reactivated the fault and brought the walls together. The possible explanation is that extension generated a high-angle fault. Net-to-gross ratio is remarkably high. almost 100%. During the frictional movements of fault sides. The grains are poorly cemented by silica. High-angle fault produced initially by extension. The Covebay. The bay is located in the vicinity of Clashach quarry 5-6 km to the west from Covesea beach. there is a cove that was perfect reservoir. The age of the rocks is late Permian. and later reactivated by fluid migration. The hanging wall is displaced 20 meters above the Figure 4. it was generated by compression tectonic forces.
as. 6). Figure 6. but is completely different from other localities. Practically impermeable. The rocks were highly deformed by seawaters along with the river waters in the late Permian period. This fact is explained by major fault that passes near the rocks. at that time. The depositional environment was fluvial. There are no traces of cross bedding. Although the general layering is horizontal and trough. The grain sizes varies from fine to medium. Part of Hopeman Sandstone. The sediments are well cemented with silica and carbonate. Daisy rocks are part of Hopeman sandstone formation. though there are some crumbly layers. the transgression of Zechstein Sea took place (Fig. Hence. The Daisy Rocks. transformed by transgression water. Sixth Locality: Burghead Sandstone. well rounded. The fault transmitted a large amount of fluids and completely cemented all surrounding rocks. Large scale cross bedding of the rocks can be observed. the texture of the sandstone is totally different. The Burghead Rock is made of pebbled (up to 50 mm) yellow to brown sandstone and conglomerate with thin greenish yellow interlayers of siltstone and clay (Figure 7). although the depositional environment was Aeolian.The . Burghead Sandstone is the exposure at the Harbour of Burghead. The permeability of these rocks is negligible. The distinctive feature of this locality is that Daisy rocks are cemented significantly compared to other localities’ exposures.sandstone formation. Colour of the rocks ranges from yellow to dark brown. Fifth Locality: Daisy rocks. well sorted and of high sphericity. The channel feature at the top of the rock exposure suggests that sediments were transported from south-west. These rocks are dated as Triassic sedimentary formations. but lots of small scale cross-beddings can be observed.
The sandstone grains are medium. but could produce sand during hydrocarbon production. These seams will impede hydrocarbon filtration to the wellbore. However. The fault – analogue of structural trap in the subsurface – makes the reservoir potential of Covebay best amongst the others. Poorly sorted sandstone with intervening greenish mudrock. For example. . Furthermore. DISCUSSION According to observations. The latter is different for each locality. The inference is that Daisy Rocks have poor reservoir properties. it will produce sand like the first locality sandstone. well rounded. poorly sorted.formation has good porosity and permeability. Daisy rocks are cemented strongly. except the level of cementation. Anyway. The Covesea beach B locality also has good reservoir properties. Covebay and Covesea beach localities demonstrate medium cementation. the production will not be challenged by sand production. and has a high reservoir potential. net-to-gross ratio is 100%. The Burghead Sandstone has remarkably good quality sandstone. Rock exposure at Burghead Harbour. and this fact negatively affects the porosity and permeability of this rock. which brings good porosity and permeability. The intervening silt and shales are not continuous and will not challenge potential oil production. high net-to-gross ratio. due to more intense cementing. all Permian aged localities have identical characteristics. On the other hand.to coarse-sized. the sandstone formation has another problem: impermeable granulation seams. The first locality has excellent reservoir potential: porosity and permeability are good. Figure 7.
185-190 BIBLIOGRAPHY OGILVIE. porous and permeable sandstones with extraordinarily high net-togross ratio. However. Excursion guide 13: The PermoTriassic sandstones of Morayshire. The sandstone has high potential to be a hydrocarbon reservoir. of high sphericity. PRESS. 16(5). S.. pp.J. Inc.C. Burghead Sandstone was formed in Triassic period in fluvial depositional environment. Cementation material and level of cementation varies widely depending on location of the sandstone. Grains are well rounded.CONCLUSION Hopeman sandstone was formed at Aeolian environment in deserts in the late Permian period about 255 million years ago.. 2000. et al. S. 1998. varying from fine sand grains to large pebbles. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2nd ed. Essentials of Geology. et al. 2000.. 4th ed. REFERENCES OGILVIE. The sorting is poor. SKINNER. Excursion guide 13: The PermoTriassic sandstones of Morayshire.S. pp. Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office. The cementing agent is silica and carbonate. and MONROE. S.Understanding Earth. Geology Today. and Porter. also the traces of calcite and iron oxide cementing agents can be observed. high-cemented sandstone with poor reservoir qualities. Large scale cross-bedding reside in each locality except for Daisy Rocks. Belmont. and HOPKINS. well-rounded grains of high sphericity. Geology Today. Hopeman sandstone has remarkable reservoir characteristics. 1968. GLENNIE.H. WICANDER. New York: W.to mediumsized. and HOPKINS. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.D. F... B. 4th ed. The Geology of Elgin District. . Hopeman sandstone is made of fine. S. The main cementation material is silica cement.185-190 PEACOCK. 2000. K. There is horizontal trough bedding with some small scale cross-bedding. Daisy Rocks are highly-deformed. as well as granulation seams at Covesea beach (B).. 16(5).. GLENNIE. R. Freeman and Company. S.. J. J. due to medium cementation sand production can be a severe problem. 2003. The Dynamic Earth – An Introduction to Physical Geology. K.
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