Elemental Chemostratigraphy from Core Scanning

Elemental chemostratigraphy from XRF can be a valuable tool in a multidisciplinary approach to reservoir correlation. Chemostratigraphic trends that can be regionally correlated are usually related either to eustasy or changes in provenance that are reflected in changes in the chemistry of sediments. The inclusion of elemental data with down-hole logging and seismic data provides additional control on correlations while providing additional compositional data and measurements of environmental proxies. The addition of up to 55 additional variables provides more confidence and detail to subsurface models.

Core Scanning with Portable XRF

Portable XRF (pXRF) technology has enabled the widespread collection of chemostratigraphic data from valuable core without the need for grinding and crushing. Non-destructive elemental analysis of core samples enables the core to be more effectively used in correlative studies, the use of geochemical proxies to reconstruct past environments, and the use of chemofacies to aid in lithologic characterization. In unconventional shale resources; for example, chemofacies can aide in the differentiation between lithofacies with similar appearance but drastically different chemistries.

Collection of high-quality data with robust quality control is critical for successful core scanning. Bruker’s TRACER 5g is the ideal instrument for non-destructive elemental core scanning. The TRACER series of x-ray spectrometers have become the standard for pXRF core scanning by providing the investigator with the most flexibility available with a portable XRF. The TRACER 5g continues this tradition with innovations designed to improve light element detection and streamline the data collection workflow. The TRACER 5g is equipped with a graphene window detector and a helium flow, enabling the detection of sodium and better detection of silicon and magnesium.

Bruker’s TRACER 5i is the first choice for working with core.

Key Publications

The quantification and application of handheld energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) in mudrock chemostratigraphy and geochemistry. 

Rowe, H., Hughes, N., & Robinson, K.

Chemical Geology324, 122-131, 2012


Lithostratigraphy of Devonian basinal mudrocks in frontier areas of northwestern Canada augmented with ED-XRF technique 

Kabanov, Pavel, et al. 

Arktos, 1-14, 2020


Eustatic controls on stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, and water mass evolution preserved in a Lower Permian mudrock succession, Delaware Basin, west Texas, USA 

Nance, H. S., & Rowe, H. 

Interpretation3(1), SH11-SH25, 2015


Chemostratigraphic insights into fluvio-lacustrine deposition, Yanchang Formation, Upper Triassic, Ordos Basin, China 

Rowe, H., Wang, X., Fan, B., Zhang, T., Ruppel, S. C., Milliken, K. L., ... & Sivil, E.

Interpretation5(2), SF149-SF165, 2017


Chemostratigraphic, palynostratigraphic, and sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Woodford Shale, Wyche Farm Quarry, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma 

Turner, B. W., Molinares-Blanco, C. E., & Slatt, R. M.  

Interpretation3(1), SH1-SH9, 2015


XRF-based Chemostratigraphy Between and Across Two Disconformities in the Ordovician Trenton Group and Utica Shale of Central New York, USA 

Pietras, J. T., & Spiegel, E. B.

Journal of Sedimentary Research88(3), 365-384, 2018


Chemostratigraphy of the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Smackover Formation for Little Cedar Creek and Brooklyn Fields, Alabama

Yarbrough, L. D., Engle, R. A., & Easson, G.

Geosciences9(6), 269, 2019


XRF (X-ray fluorescence) applied to characterization of unconventional Woodford Shale (Devonian, USA) lateral well heterogeneity

Zhang, Jing, Yijin Zeng, and Roger Slatt.

Fuel 254,115565, 2019


A new carbonate-specific quantification procedure for determining elemental concentrations from portable energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) data

Al-Musawi, Mohammed, and Stephen Kaczmarek

Applied Geochemistry 113, 104491, 2020


An integrated pelagic carbonate multi-proxy study using portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF): Maastrichtian strata from the Bottaccione Gorge, Gubbio, Italy 

Sinnesael, M., de Winter, N. J., Snoeck, C., Montanari, A., & Claeys, P.

Cretaceous Research91, 20-32, 2018