Microstructure Characterization of a Biogenic Shale Gas Formation—Insights from the Antrim Shale, Michigan Basin

Kouqi Liu, Natalia Zakharova, Thomas Gentzis, Adedoyin Adeyilola, Humberto Carvajal-Ortiz, Hallie Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Biogenic gas shales, predominantly microbial in origin, form an important class of organic-rich shale reservoirs with a significant economic potential. Yet large gaps remain in the understanding of their gas generation, storage, and transport mechanisms, as previous studies have been largely focused on mature thermogenic shale reservoirs. In this study, the pore structure of 18 Antrim Shale samples was characterized using gas adsorption (CO2 and N2). The results show that most of the Antrim Shale samples are rich in organic matter content (0.58 wt.% to 14.15 wt.%), with highest values found in the Lachine and Norwood members. Samples from the Paxton Member, characterized by lower organic content, have smaller micropore surface area and micropore volume but larger meso-macro pore surface area and volume. The deconvolution results of the pore size distribution from the N2 adsorption indicate that all of the tested Antrim Shale samples have similar pore groups. Organic matter in the Antrim Shale hosts micro pores instead of meso-macro pores, while clay minerals host both micro and meso-macro pores. Mineral-related pores play a primary role in the total porosity. The biogenic Antrim Shale, therefore, has different pore structures from other well-studied thermogenic gas shales worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1240
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Earth Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Antrim Shale
  • biogenic shale
  • gas adsorption
  • organic matter


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