The Southern Permian Basin of the North Sea represents an elongate E-W oriented depo-centre along the northern margin of the Variscan Mountains. During Rotliegend times, three roughly parallel facies belts of a Permian desert developed, these following the outline of the Variscan Mountains. These belts were, from south to north, the wadi facies, the dune and interdune facies, and the sabkha and desert lake facies. The bulk of the gas reservoirs of the Rotliegend occur in the aeolian dune sands. Their recognition, and the study of their geometry, is therefore important in hydrocarbon exploration. Equally important is the understanding of diagenesis, particularly of the diageneticaily-formed clay minerals, because they have an important influence on the reservoir quality of these sands. Clay minerals were introduced to the aeolian sands during or shortly after their deposition in the form of air-borne dust, which later formed thin clay films around the grains. During burial diagenesis, these clay films may have acted as crystallization nuclei for new clay minerals or for the transformation of existing ones. Depending on their crystallographic habit, the clay minerals can seriously affect the effective porosity and permeability of the sands.