To investigate the nanoscale pore characteristics of the Upper Permian Longtan transitional mudrocks and their equivalent strata Wujiaping Formation marine mudrocks in and around the eastern Sichuan Basin, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and low-pressure N2 adsorption experiments were performed. Their controlling factors were also discussed. The results indicate that the Upper Permian mudrock is in a mature stage with total organic carbon (TOC) values ranging between 0.47% and 12.3%. The Longtan mudrocks mainly contain vitrinite, and their mineral composition is primarily clay. In contrast, the Wujiaping mudrocks are dominated by sapropelinite and solid bitumen, and their mineral compositions are mainly quartz and a notably high amount of pyrite. The FE-SEM reveals that clay mineral pores and microcracks are the common pore types in the Longtan mudrocks. The specific surface area and pore volume depend on the clay content but are negatively correlated with the TOC. The generation of nanometer pores in the Longtan mudrocks is caused by high clay mineral contents. Meanwhile, the Wujiaping mudrock mainly contains OM pores, and the pore parameters are positively correlated with the TOC. The OM pore development exhibits remarkable differences in the Longtan and Wujiaping mudrocks, which might be related to their sedimentary facies and maceral fractions. Vitrinite and inertinite appear as discrete particles in these mudrocks and cannot generate pores during thermal maturation. Sapropelinite often contains many secondary pores, and solid bitumen with large particles, usually with several pores, is not the major contributor to the pore system of the investigated mudrock.
- Nanoscale pore characteristics
- Low-pressure N2 adsorption
- Transitional mudrock
- Longtan/Wujiaping Formation
- eastern Sichuan Basin