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Mineralogy and lithology of the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation determined by hyperspectral core imaging

April 30, 2020

Sections of the Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian to Campanian) Niobrara Formation in two cores from Kansas and Colorado, the Amoco Rebecca Bounds and USGS Portland 1, respectively, were examined by hyperspectral core imaging and analysis. A spectral imaging system combining high-resolution photography (50 μm), 3D laser profiling (20 μm), and near-visible + short-wave infrared reflectance spectroscopy (wavelengths from 450 to 2500 nm, 500 μm pixel size) was applied to these cores to provide spectral and textural data facilitating creation of continuous mineral and lithology class maps. In addition, compositing of pixel-based results to group pixels to create mineralogical and lithological logs (0.5 ft resolution) was performed to facilitate comparisons to other geochemical datasets. The results show general correspondence in trends identified by previous geochemistry studies, with some exceptions due to instrumental limitations related to low reflectance of some rock intervals and the limited range of infrared wavelengths examined. This study provides a cursory overview of an extensive dataset meant to demonstrate the utility of hyperspectral core scanning to studies of mudrocks in petroleum systems as well as the kinds of information this technique can provide for detailed examination of stratigraphic features in sedimentary systems more generally.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Mineralogy and lithology of the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Formation determined by hyperspectral core imaging
DOI 10.31582/rmag.mg.57.2.121
Authors Justin E. Birdwell, Lionel C. Fontenot, Brigette Martini
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Mountain Geologist
Series Number
Index ID 70210390
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center

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