Clay mineralogy and diagenesis

The areas of research for clay mineralogy are manifold; they span a wide area from the diagenesis of clay minerals in mudstones and sandstones to clay minerals as paleoenvironmental indicators in lake sediments and to applied topics concerning the material properties like the optimization of the mechanical strength of adobe bricks.

The diagenesis and reservoir quality of sedimentary rocks are of main interest for the petroleum industry. During burial, authigenic minerals (cements) form in the pore spaces of rocks resulting in changes in porosity and permeability. Sedimentary petrology allows to characterize and quantify these changes and minerals.

Sandstone with chlorite cement

Sandstone with chlorite cement (© S. Gier)


Chlorite cement

Chlorite cement, crystals growing perpendicular to detrital grain surface (© S. Gier)


Kaolinite cement

Kaolinite cement growing in sandstone pore (© S. Gier)


Authigenic illite fibres

Authigenic illite fibres (© S. Gier)