Diagenesis of Paleozoic playa-lake and ephemeral-stream deposits from the Pimenta Bueno Formation, Siluro-Devonian (?) of the Parecis Basin, central Brazil

K. Goldberg, S. Morad, I. S. Al-Aasm, L. F. De Ros

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The Parecis Basin is a large intracratonic rift located in central Brazil and filled with Paleozoic carbonate, evaporite and siliciclastic sediments. The occurrence of gas seeps has recently attracted significant exploration interest by the Brazilian petroleum agency and by Petrobras. The continuously cored PB-01-RO well provided the first opportunity to study the depositional environments, diagenetic evolution and hydrocarbon potential of the largely unknown sedimentary successions of the Parecis Basin. The cored lithologies, belonging to the Siluro-Devonian (?) Pimenta Bueno Formation, are interpreted as deposited in playa-lake and ephemeral-stream environments. The deposits display a strong facies control on the diagenetic mineral assemblages and evolution. Diagenetic minerals in the ephemeral-stream deposits include eogenetic hematite and smectitic clay coats and quartz cement, and the mesogenetic process includes precipitation of sulfates (anhydrite and barite) and carbonates (calcite, dolomite and kutnahorite-ankerite-huntite), followed by partial dissolution of these carbonates and sulfates, and of feldspar grains. Telogenetic processes include the precipitation of hematite and kaolinite within secondary pores, and the replacement of anhydrite by gypsum. A second burial phase and mesodiagenesis is indicated by the precipitation of discrete K-feldspar crystals within moldic pores after dissolved feldspars, and by the illitization of etched, telogenetic kaolinite. The playa-lake deposits show early diagenetic dolomitization of lime mud, precipitation of anhydrite nodules and extensive silicification. The anhydrite nodules were replaced by gypsum and chalcedony during telodiagenesis. Potential source rocks are locally represented by organic shales. The fluvial sandstones show fair reservoir quality and limited compaction, as indicated by their intergranular volume, suggesting that the succession has undergone moderate burial. Potential seals for hydrocarbon accumulations are provided by the evaporites and playa-lake mudstones. The presence of an active petroleum system in the basin, as indicated by the gas seeps, suggests a good hydrocarbon exploration potential for the Parecis Basin, gas and stresses the importance of studying the depositional and diagenetic evolution of its sedimentary successions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)58-74
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of South American Earth Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Diagenesis
  • Ephemeral streams
  • Hydrocarbon exploration
  • Parecis Basin
  • Playa lake


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