Microstructural investigation of the Whitby mudstone (UK) As an analog for posidonia shale (NL)

M. E. Houben*, A. Barnhoorn, M. R. Drury, C. J. Peach, C. J. Spiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


As part of a study to investigate methods to enhance pore/crack connectivity between the shale matrix and the induced fractures, we have investigated the matrix microstructure of an exposed analogue of the Jurassic Posidonia shales in the Dutch sub-surface. A combination of Precision-Ion- Polishing and Scanning Electron Microscopy has been used to image the in-situ porosity and mineralogy in shale samples from Whitby (UK), which are an analogue for the Dutch Posidonia shale. First results show a fine-grained mudstone with cm-sub-mm scale stratification. The section at Whitby can be divided into a clay matrix dominated upper half and a coarser grained, calcite-rich, lower half of the section. Commonly occurring minerals are pyrite, calcite (fossils, grains and cement), quartz, mica and dolomite. Organic matter content varies from 0 -2 % in the calcite dominated layers to 5 -18% in the clay matrix dominated layers. The most porous phases are the clay matrix and calcite fossils. This microstructural study shows which intervals within Posidonia shale contain the largest porosity and organic matter contents for sweet spot analyses and forms a basis for future research on enhancing connectivity between the pores and induced fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication76th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2014
Subtitle of host publicationExperience the Energy - Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2014
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781632666949
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event76th EAGE conference & Exhibition 2014 - Houten, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 16 Jun 201419 Jun 2014


Conference76th EAGE conference & Exhibition 2014
Internet address


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