Weiwei Liu, Kun Zhang, Zhenxue Jiang, Shu Jiang, Yan Song, Chengzao Jia, Yizhou Huang, Ming Wen, Tianlin Liu, Xuelian Xie, Pengfei Wang, Chang’an Shan, Xiaoxue Liu, Xin Wang
October 25, 2018
Finding favorable sites for the exploration of shale gas, is still one of the important areas of research that needs immediate attention. The content of organic matter in shale plays a crucial role in the hydrocarbon generation potential, reservoir space and gas-bearing capacity of shales. Therefore, studying the sedimentary environment of organic shale can provide a scientific basis for locating favorable exploration areas for shale gas. The article takes the Lower Cambrian and the Upper Ordovician-Lower Silurian shales in the Yangtze region as the research object and selects representative wells to quantitatively calculate the existence of excess silicon in shale siliceous minerals and the content of excess silicon. Then, the origin of excess silicon can be clarified by the Al, Fe and Mn elemental analysis. Finally, the sedimentary organic matter enrichment mechanism is analyzed from water oxidation-reduction environments and biological productivity. The results of the study show that the excess silicon in the Lower Cambrian and Upper Ordovician-Lower Silurian shales in the Lower Yangtze region is of hydrothermal origin. The hydrothermal activity improves biological fertility on the one hand; whereas on the other hand, it can enhance the reducing capacity of the bottom water conducive for the preservation of organic matter thereby enriching the sedimentary organic matter. The place near the junction of Yangtze plate and Cathaysian plate, where hydrothermal activities were more intense, provided favorable loci for shale gas exploration in the Lower Yangtze region. It was observed that, since the hydrothermal activity was stronger in the Early Cambrian than in the Late Ordovician-Early Silurian times, the total organic carbon (TOC) content of the Lower Cambrian shale was higher than that of the Upper Ordovician-Lower Silurian shales.