Shales and Mudstones, Vols. I and II

I. Basin Studies, Sedimentology and Paleontology. II. Petrography, Petrophysics, Geochemistry and Economic Geology.

Ed.: Jürgen Schieber; Winfried Zimmerle; Parvinder S. Sethi

1998. 1. edition, X, 680 pages, 257 figures, 56 tables, 3 plates, 17x24cm, 1580 g
Language: English

ISBN 978-3-510-65183-2, paperback, price: 108.00 €

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stratigraphyshales geologysedimentology


Description of contents top ↑

Shales and mudstones are the most poorly understood sedimentary rock type. They comprise approximately two thirds of the stratigraphic column and contain the bulk of recorded earth history. In the future, understanding shales will be crucial for a wide variety of studies. Yet, getting a balanced perspective of research on these fascinating rocks is difficult because it is dispersed over so many subdisciplines. The two volumes of this book present up to date research on a wide range of topics in shale geology, and were assembled with the goal to ease access to this engaging field of research. Chapter introductions were written by experts in their field, and are intended to define the state of the art, to provide access to pertinent literature, and to set the stage for the corresponding research papers. Volume I covers basin-scale analysis, sedimentology and paleontology of shales.
Volume II supplements this perspective with detailed treatments of petrography, burial history, petrophysics, geochemistry, and economic aspects of shales. The broad coverage of topics should make this book a valuable source of information for those that want to keep informed about current developments in shale research, and a source of inspiration for those interested to enter this exciting field of study.

Analyse d'ouvrage: Géochronique, no. 71, Septembre 1999 top ↑

Cet ouvrage en deux volumes fait le point sur les faciès argileux déposés en milieu marin, regroupés sous les terme de shales et mudstones. Les auteurs ont fait le pari de nous rendre attrayant des faciès plutôt rebutant de monotonie apparente, en illustrant la diversité et la richesse, en ce qui concerne les reconstitutions paléoécologiques sensu latissimo. Le premier volume regroupe les chapitres de géologie des argilites à large échelle: (1) stratigraphie, analyse de bassins, (2) environnement et processus de dépôt, (3) paléontologie, paléoécologie et ichnologie. Le second volume comprend les études à plus fine échelle, que l'on peut mener en laboratoire: (1) pétrographie, microstructures et microtextures, (2) propriétés pétrophysiques, (3) géochimie, isotopie, en mettant l'accent sur les éléments traces et les terres rares, (4) les aspects économiques (métaux et considérations environnementales). D'une manière générale, il s'agit d'articles de pointe, à l'intention de chercheurs spécialisés. Toutefois, dans le souci d'intéresser un public plus vaste, de nature à s'adonner aux argilites, des introductions conséquentes ont été ajoutées à chaque chapitre, pour sensibiliser le lecteur à la problématique abordée et sa portée potentielle. Ces introductions contiennent des références bibliographiques adaptées, ainsi qu'une description de l"'état de l'art" et les questions en suspens. Il n'y a peut-être pas d'apport révolutionnaire quant à la géologie sensu lato des shales, dans cet ouvrage, cependant, les auteurs sont nombreux et leur diversité même fait que l'on sort des approches convenues sur ce sujet. En outre, il n'y a pas d'étude de cas trop spécialisées mais un effort a été fait pour présenter des résultats transposables. Au total, ce bon ouvrage peut intéresser aussi bien les chercheurs dont les shales sont le cheval de bataille que ceux dont ils pourraient le devenir ! Je recommande sa lecture. N. TRIBOVILLARD Géochronique, no. 71, Septembre 1999

Rev.: AMF Alert 2(4)2000,p.39,publ. by the Australian Mineral Found. top ↑

This is a collection of fifteen papers, including general reviews, which provides a useful update (to 1997) and literature survey of the petrology and economic geology of shale and mudstone. Although these rocks comprise a great part of sedimentary successions they have not received as much attention as coarser grained elastic sediments or carbonates, probably because their very fine-grained, complex nature makes them less amenable for study. These rocks have significance in unravelling geological history and as sources of petroleum, metallic minerals and ceramics, and as repositories for waste. Authors are mainly from North America.

The first of four sections of the book is devoted to petrography, with an introductory overview of methodology by two of the editors. Methods appraised include thin-section microscopy (valuable, but requiring labour-intensive preparation), electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction analysis, study of light and heavy minerals and infrared absorption spectroscopy. A further three papers in that section provide examples of detailed studies: petrography of the Tertiary Boom Clay, northern Belgium; geochemistry of accessory minerals as a guide to provenance, as in the Carboniferous Stanley Formation of Arkansas; and Silurian shale fabric in New York State.

The second section is on petrophysical observations and comprises one well-illustrated paper on the permeability history of subsiding shales. Section three is the longest and contains eight papers covering diagenesis and geochemistry. A review paper entitled "Shale diagenesis: a currently muddied view" provides some history of research. Topics in other papers cover: potassium enrichment in shales ("a complex problem"); reconstructing Mid-Ordovician explosive volcanism from shale composition; potassic shale of the Central Appalachian Palaeozoic; diagenetic and detrital illite quantified; Sr/Nd geochemistry and mineralogy in the Shikoku Basin, Philippine Sea; rare-earth geochemistry of Cretaceous shale, Utah; and trace element remobilization in Ordovician black shale of Ontario and New York (remobilisation of rare earths appears to occur during late diagenesis).

The final section, on economic geology, contains a general review paper, by two of the editors, and a contribution on metal-rich black shale - formation, economic geology and environmental aspects (including some practical advice on sample collection). Shales are evidently of economic importance in many ways: hydrocarbon source rocks, repositories of metallic ore deposits such as Mount Isa and McArthur River; applications in ceramics, bricks and refractories; and long-term containment of hazardous waste.

AMF Alert 2 (4) 2000, page 39

published by the Australian Mineral Foundation, Glenside

Rev.: AAGP Bulletin, December 1999, p. 2032 top ↑

I feel obliged, at the outset, to declare without malice that I am the author of a classification scheme for shales "Classification of Fine-Grained Sedimentary Rocks," one of several geologists whose classification Schieber and Zimmerle thinks Leaves much to be desired." "There is at present," they say, "no consensus on how to approach" the clash cation of such rocks.

The 31 papers in the 2 volumes are from a theme session in 1995 of the Geological Society of America. Volume I includes sections on stratigraphy and basin analysis, deposition of mudstone and shale, and paleontological obsess lions. Volume II contains petrography diagenesis/geochemistry, and economic geology. Each book has a subject index. There is great variation in the number of references in each paper, but overall there are a large number of citations to the literature. As one expects, a good case can be made for an equal number of used articles that are uncited.

Many of the shale specialists have authored or co-authored two articles. These include T. J. Algeo, J. Bloch, K M. Bohacs, K E. Goggin, J. T. Haynes, J. C. Hower, R. Hubbell, J. Jamimski, J. B. Maynard, W. G. Melson, T. O'Hearn, and W. Zimmerle. P. S. Sethi, a co-editor, contributed to three papers; the senior editor, J. Schieber, to a gargantuan five.

Shale is not studied to the extent sandstone and carbonate rock are because there is less economic interest in shale, it is difficult to study, and many geologists think a shale sequence is about as exciting as the third hour of a faculty meeting concerned with curriculum. We should devote more energy to shales than we do because they are by far the most abundant sedimentary rock; thus, they are the most common rocks at the earth's surface. The greatest amount of Phanerozoic history is held in fine-grained sedimentary rocks. Kevin Bohacs's wonderful quote from H. C. Sorby (1908) is apt: " - e accumulation of mud) is soon found to be so complex a question, and the results so dependent on so many variable conditions, that one might feel inclined to abandon the inquiry, were it not that so much of the history of our rocks appears to be written in this language."

In many sequent, Ends records short-lived, high-energy, depositional events, as Schieber and Zimmerle say. Shales may register long-term events and, when we can read them, common depositional conditions.

Space does not permit mentioning all of the fine work. Paul Potter, co-author with d. B. Maynard and Wayne Pryor of the useful volume Sedimentology of Shale, has examined shale-rich basins: "Why are some basins so rich in shale, others have but little, and in some it is virtual absent? . . . To me, search for a general model of shale does not need more data and more studies but rather only our attention." Another article of general interest is Bohacs's study of "Contrasting Expressions of Depositional Sequences in Mudrocks from Marine to Nonmarine Environs." The discussion of parts of the Green River (Paleocene-Eocene) Formation in the Wyoming Green River Basin is welcome because the formation is probably the most written about (and perhaps studied) fine-grained sequence in the world. Green River shales are significant hydras carbon source rocks in the Utah Uinta Basin, and the world's largest deposits of high-grade oil ~shale" (not really shale) occur in the Piceance Creek Basin of northwest Colorado, as Sethi and Schieber say in their paper on Economic Aspects of Shales and Clays: An Overview."

There is something here to please everyone who studies mudstone. Each article has something to offer. The authors know their way around finegrained sedimentary rocks.

M. Dane Picard, University of Utah, USA

AAGP Bulletin, December 1999, p. 2032

Table of contents top ↑

Volume I: Basin Studies, Sedimentology and Paleontology
Schieber, J. Zimmerle, W.: Introduction and Overview: The History and
Promise of Shale Research (with 1 figure and 1 table) 1-10
Bohacs, K. M.: Introduction: Mudrock Sedimentology and Stratigraphy -
Challenges at the Basin to Local Scales 13-20
Potter, P. E.: Shale-Rich Basins: Controls and Origin (with 8 figures
and 3 tables) 21-32
Bohacs, K. M.: Contrasting Expressions of Depositional Sequences in
Mudrocks from Marine to non Marine Environs (with 23 figures and 3
tables) 33-78
Schutter, S. R.: Characteristics of Shale Deposition in Relation to
Stratigraphic Sequence Systems Tracts (with 16 figures and 6 tables)
Ettensohn, F. R.: Compressional Tectonic Controls on Epicontinental
Black-Shale Deposition: Devonian-Mississippian Examples from North
America (with 10 figures) 109-128
Schieber, J: Deposition of Mudstones and Shales: Overview, Problems,
and Challenges (with 2 figures) 131-146
Allison, M. A. Nittrouer, C. A.: Identifying Accretionary Mud
Shorefaces in the Geologic Record: Insights from the Modern Amazon
Dispersal System (with 4 figures and 2 tables) 147-161
Macquaker, J. G. S., Gawthorpe, R. L., Taylor, K. G. Oates, M. J.:
Heterogeneity, Stacking Patterns and Sequence Stratigraphic
Interpretation in Distal Mudstone Successions: Examples from the
Kimmeridge Clay Formation, U. K. (with 8 figures and 1 table) 163-186
Schieber, J.: Sedimentary Features indicating Erosion, Condensation,
and Hiatuses in the Chattanooga shale of Central Tennessee: Relevance
for Sedimentary and Stratigraphic Evolution (with 23 figures and 2
tables) 187-215
Jaminski, J., Algeo, T. J., Maynard, J. B. Hower, J. C.: Climatic
Origin of dm-Scale Compositional Cyclicity in the Cleveland Member of
the Ohio Shale (Upper Devonian), Central Appalachian Basin,
U.S.A. (with 13 figures and 1 table) 217-242
Hoffman, D. L., Algeo, T. J., Maynard, J. B., Joachimski, M. M.,
Hower, J.C. Jaminski, J.: Regional and Stratigraphic Variation in
Bottomwater Anoxia in Offshore Core Shales of Upper Pennsylvanian
Cyclothems from the Eastern Midcontinent Shelf (Kansas), U.S.A. (with
14 figures and 1 table) 243-269
Genger, D. Sethi, P.S: A Geochemical and Sedimentological
Investigation of High-Resolution Environmental Changes within the Late
Pennsylvanian (Missourian) Eudore Care Black shale of the
Mid-Continent Region, U.S.A. (with 10 figures and 3 tables) 271-293
Schieber, J.: Introduction: The Organic Dimension: The Many Uses of
Paleontology 297-299 Brett, C. E. Allison, P. A.: Paleontological
Approaches to the Environmental Interpretation of Marine Mudrocks
(with 15 figures and 3 tables) 301-349
Wetzel, A. Uchman, A.: Biogenic Sedimentary Structures in
Mudstones - an Overview (with 8 figures and 1 table) 351-369
Subject Index
Volume II Petrography, Petrophysics, Geochemistry, and Economic Geology
Schieber, J. Zimmerle, W.: Petrography of Shales: A survey of
Techniques 3-12
Zimmerle, W.: Petrography of the Boom Clay from the Rupelian type
locality, Northern Belgium (with 3 plates, 3 figures, and 2 tables)
Totten, M. W. Hanan, M. A.: The Accessory-Mineral Fraction of
Mudrocks and its Significance for Whole-rock Trace-element
Geochemistry (with 7 figures and 4 tables) 35-53
O'Brien, N. R., Brett, C. E. Woodard, M. J.: Shale Fabric as a Clue
to Sedimentary Processes - Example from the Williamson-Willowvale
Shales (Silurian), New York (with 8 figures) 55-66
Katsube, T. J. Williamson, M. A.: Shale Petrophysical
Characteristics: Permeability History of subsiding Shales (with 17
figures) 69-91
Bloch, J.: Shale Diagenesis: A Currently Muddied View (with 3 figures
and 1 table) 95-106
Hucheon, I., Bloch, J., de Caritat, P., Shevalier, M., Abercrombie, H.
Longstaffe, F.: What is the Cause of Potassium Enrichment in Shales? (with 13
figures and 1 table) 107-128
Haynes, J. T., Melson, W. G., O'Hearn, T., Goggin, K. E.
Hubbell, R.: A High Potassium Mid-Ordovician Shale of the Central
Appalachian Foredeep: Implications for Reconstructing Taconian
Explosive Volcanism (with 6 figures) 129-141
Melson, W. G., Haynes, J. T., O'Hearn, T., Hubbell, R., Goggin, K. E.,
Locke, D. Ross, D.:" K-Shales of the Central Appalachian
Paleozoic: Properties and Origin (with 6 figures and 1 table) 143-159
Grathoff, G. H., Moore, D. M., Hay, R. L. Wemmer, K.: Illite Polytype
Quantification and K/Ar Dating of Paleozoic Shales: A Technique to
Quantify Diagenetic and Detrital Illite (with 5 figures and 6 tables)
Mahoney, J. B., Hooper, R. L. Michael, G.: Resolving Compositional
Variations in Fine-Grained Clastic Sediments: A Comparison of Sr/Nd
Isotopic and Mineralogical Sediment Characteristics, Shikoku Basin,
Philippine Sea (with 8 figures and 2 tables) 177-194
Sethi, P. S., Hannigan, R. E. Leithold, E. L.: Rare-Earth Element
Chemistry of Cenomanian-Turoian Shales of the North American Greenhorn
Sea, Utah (with 6 figures and 2 tables) 195-208
Hannigan, R. Basu, A. R.: Late Diagenetic Trace Element
Remobilization in Organic-Rich Black shales of the Taconic Foreland
Basin of Québec, Ontario, and New York (with 6 figures and 7 tables)
Sethi, P. S. Schieber, J.: Economic Aspects of Shales and Clays: An
Overview 237-253
Leventhal, J. S.: Metal-Rich Black Shales: Formation, Economic Geology
and Environmental Considerations (with 14 figures and 3 tables)
Subject Index 283-296