Characteristics of porosity and permeability layer of fossil Halimeda reef mineral rock of Miocene in the Xisha Islands and its genetic model

Hong Xu, Yurui Zhu, G. P. Eberli, Wei Luo, Xinwei Zhao, Ying Cai, Xinyu Liu, Guijing Yan, Bolin Zhang, Kai Wei, Ruyong Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Halimeda is one of the major reef-building algas in the middle Miocene of Xisha, and one of the significant reef-building algas in the algal reef oil and gas field of the South China Sea. However, there have been few reports regarding the characteristics of mineral rocks, reservoir porosity and permeability layers, and sedimentation-diagenetic-evolution of fossil Halimeda systems. The present paper briefly introduces the relevant studies on chlorophyta Halimeda and the research status of oil and gas exploration. Through the 1 043 m core of the Xichen-1 well, we studied the characteristics of the mineral rocks and porosity and permeability of the middle Miocene Halimeda of the Yongle Atoll, identified and described the segments of fossil Halimeda, and pointed out that most of the segment slides are vertical sections in ovular, irregular or long strips. The overwhelming majority of these fossil Halimeda found and studied are vertical sections instead of cross sections. In this paper, knowledge regarding the cross sections of fossil Halimeda is reported and proven to be similar with the microscopic characteristics of modern living Halimeda; fossil Halimeda are buried in superposition; it is shown that there are different structures present, including typical bio-segment structure, and due to its feature of coexisting with red alga, tying structure, twining structure and encrusting structure are all present; and finally, it is suggested to classify the fossil Halimeda into segment algal reef dolomites. In addition, all of the studied intervals are moderately dolomitized. Secondary microcrystalline-dolosparite dominates the original aragonite raphide zones, and aphanitic-micrite dolomite plays the leading role in the cortexes and medullas; in the aragonite raphide zones between medulla and cysts, secondary dissolved pores and intercrystalline pores are formed inside the segments, and algal frame holes are formed between segments; therefore, a pore space network system (dissolved pores + intragranular dissolved pores—intercrystalline pores + algal frame holes) is established. Segment Halimeda dolomite has a porosity of 16.2%–46.1%, a permeability of 0.203×10−3–2 641×10−3 μm2, and a throat radius of 23.42–90.43 μm, therefore it is shown to be a good oil and gas reservoir. For the reasons mentioned above, we suggest building the neogene organic reef-modern reef sedimentation-diagenetic-evolution models for the Xisha Islands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalActa Oceanologica Sinica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Miocene
  • Xisha Islands
  • fossil Halimeda
  • reservoir evolution model
  • segment dolostone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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