Geophysical methods have a great potential for characterizing subsurface properties and couple THM processes to inform geological, reservoir, hydrological, and (bio)geochemical studies. In these contexts, the classically used geophysical tools only provide indirect information about subsurface heterogeneities, reservoir rocks characteristics, thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling, and associated processes (e.g. flow, transport, bio-geochemical reactions). Rock physics relationships hence have to be developed to provide links between physical properties (e.g. electrical conductivity, seismic velocity or attenuation) and the intrinsic parameters of interest (e.g. fluid content, hydraulic properties, coupled processes). In addition, geophysical methods are increasingly deployed as time-lapse, or even continuous, and distributed monitoring tools on more and more complex environments. Here again, there is a great need for accurate and efficient physical relationships such that geophysical data can be correctly interpreted (e.g. included in fully coupled inversions). Establishing such models requires multidisciplinary approaches since involved theoretical frameworks differ. Each physical property has its intrinsic dependence to pore-scale interfacial, geometrical, and (bio)geochemical properties or to external condition (such as pressure or temperature). Each associated geophysical method has its specific investigation depth and spatial resolution which adds a significant level of complexity in combining and scaling theoretical developments with laboratory studies/validations and/or with field experiments. This session consequently invites contributions from various communities to share their models, their experiments, or their field tests and data in order to discuss about multidisciplinary ways to improve our knowledge on reservoir and near surface environment.

Co-organized by ERE6/HS13
Convener: Damien Jougnot | Co-conveners: Patrick Baud, Guido Blöcher, Ludovic Bodet, Mauro Cacace, Harald Milsch, Jean Schmittbuhl, Sergio Vinciguerra
| Attendance Tue, 05 May, 14:00–18:00 (CEST)

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Chat time: Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 14:00–15:45

D1167 |
| solicited
Michael Heap, Darren Gravley, Ben Kennedy, Albert Gilg, Elisabeth Bertolett, and Shaun Barker

Hydrothermal fluids can alter the chemical and physical properties of the materials through which they pass and can therefore modify the efficiency of fluid circulation. The role of hydrothermal alteration in the development of geothermal and epithermal mineral resources, systems that require the efficient hydrothermal circulation provided by fracture networks, is investigated here from a petrophysical standpoint using samples collected from a well exposed and variably altered palaeo-hydrothermal system hosted in the Ohakuri ignimbrite deposit in the Taupō Volcanic Zone (New Zealand). Our new laboratory data show that, although quartz and adularia precipitation reduces matrix porosity and permeability, it increases the uniaxial compressive strength, Young’s modulus, and propensity for brittle behaviour. The fractures formed in highly altered rocks containing quartz and adularia are also more planar than those formed in their less altered counterparts. All of these factors combine to enhance the likelihood that a silicified rock-mass will host permeability-enhancing fractures. Indeed, the highly altered silicified rocks of the Ohakuri ignimbrite deposit are much more fractured than less altered outcrops. By contrast, smectite alteration at the margins of the hydrothermal system does not significantly increase strength or Young’s modulus, or significantly decrease permeability, and creates a relatively unfractured rock-mass. Using our new laboratory data, we provide permeability modelling that shows that the equivalent permeability of a silicified rock-mass will be higher than that of a less altered rock-mass or a rock-mass characterised by smectite alteration, the latter of which provides a low-permeability cap required for an economically viable hydrothermal resource. Our new data show, using a petrophysical approach, how hydrothermal alteration can produce rock-masses that are both suitable for geothermal energy exploitation (high-permeability reservoir and low-permeability cap) and more likely to host high-grade epithermal mineral veins, such as gold and silver (localised fluid flow).

How to cite: Heap, M., Gravley, D., Kennedy, B., Gilg, A., Bertolett, E., and Barker, S.: Upscaling laboratory measurements: Quantifying the role of hydrothermal alteration in creating geothermal and epithermal mineral resources, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7237, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7237, 2020.

D1168 |
Christian David, Joël Sarout, Christophe Barnes, Jérémie Dautriat, and Lucas Pimienta

During the production of hydrocarbon reservoirs, EOR operations, storage of CO2 underground or geothermal fluid exchanges at depth, fluid substitution processes can lead to significant changes in rock properties which can be captured from the variations in seismic waves attributes. In the laboratory, fluid substitution processes can be investigated using ultrasonic monitoring. 

The motivation of our study was to identify the seismic attributes of fluid substitution in reservoir rocks through a direct comparison between the variation in amplitude, velocity, spectral content, energy, and the actual fluid distribution in the rocks. Different arrays of ultrasonic P-wave sensors were used to record at constant time steps the waveforms during fluid substitution experiments. Two different kinds of experiments are presented: (i) water injection experiments in oil-saturated samples under stress in a triaxial setup mimicking EOR operations, (ii) spontaneous water imbibition experiments at room conditions.

In the water injection tests on a poorly consolidated sandstone saturated with oil and loaded at high deviatoric stresses, water weakening triggers mechanical instabilities leading to the rock failure. The onset of such instabilities can be followed with ultrasonic monitoring either in the passive mode (acoustic emissions recording) or in the active mode (P wave velocity survey).

In the water imbibition experiments, a methodology based on the analytical signal and instantaneous phase was designed to decompose each waveform into discrete wavelets associated with direct or reflected waves. The energy carried by the wavelets is very sensitive to the fluid substitution process: the coda wavelets are impacted as soon as imbibition starts and can be used as a precursor for remote fluid substitution. It is also shown that the amplitude of the first P-wave arrival is impacted by the upward moving fluid front before the P-wave velocity is. Several scenarios are discussed to explain the decoupling between P wave amplitude and velocity variations during fluid substitution processes.

How to cite: David, C., Sarout, J., Barnes, C., Dautriat, J., and Pimienta, L.: Acoustic signature of fluid substitution in reservoir rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6028, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6028, 2020.

D1169 |
Davide Geremia, Christian David, Christophe Barnes, Beatriz Menéndez, Jeremie Dautriat, Lionel Esteban, Joel Sarout, Sara Vandycke, and Fanny Descamps

Since the performances of geological reservoirs are continuously changing during the production history, tools capable of characterizing these changes are becoming day by day of relevant importance. A time-lapse monitoring is an important and widely used way to explore the variations induced by the oil depletion. In an enhanced oil recovery scenario, the seismic survey method has been mostly used to monitor the remaining oil fraction with respect to the injected water, however no particular attention has been addressed to the effects generated by the water-rock interaction, which might induce deformation with no stress variation. Indeed, it is well known that water can induce important mechanical weakening in reservoir rocks.

For that purpose, we performed injection tests on carbonate rocks in a conventional triaxial cell. An essential characteristic of these tests is the very low injection pressure, in order to minimize changes in the effective stresses and focus specifically on the rock - fluid interaction. The test consists in injecting water from the bottom in a critically loaded sample, initially in a dry state, until deformation is induced by the water-air substitution and failure is reached. While testing, the rock sample is instrumented with either 6 (at UCP, GEC lab) or 16 (at CSIRO, Geomechanics and Geophysics lab) P-wave transducers allowing us to perform an active ultrasonic survey with a narrow time intervals.

The described methodology allowed us to monitor how P-wave attributes (amplitude, velocity and frequency), elastic moduli, as well as, permeability and injection rate change while water is flooding the sample increasing the water saturation, and damage is produced by the water – rock interaction. For instance, injecting water into a dry rock sample could produce several patterns of variations in the P-wave velocity, which we ascribed to 1) partial water saturation; 2) water-induced damage with no failure; 3) water-induced failure and, in some cases, 4) total water saturation. More experiments are planned to mimic real EOR operation, like injecting water in an oil-saturated rock sample, with acoustic monitoring as well.

The outcome of this study indicates that combining multiple data sets from different sources is an effective tool for monitoring the exploitation of underground resources. This can certainly enhance our understanding of reservoir properties changing over time and target the attention toward the areas of greatest interest.

How to cite: Geremia, D., David, C., Barnes, C., Menéndez, B., Dautriat, J., Esteban, L., Sarout, J., Vandycke, S., and Descamps, F.: Laboratory testing for monitoring of reservoir properties during water injection, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6615, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6615, 2020.

D1170 |
Julia Leuthold, Elina Gerolymatou, and Theodoros Triantafyllidis

In this work, the mechanically induced compaction process in highly porous rocks is studied with experimental investigations and constitutive modeling. The focus of the study is on the influence of the inherent anisotropy on the mechanical properties. From a practical point of view, such behavior is of particular interest when considering reservoirs in soft, porous rocks. The reduction in pore pressure, which is linked to the production, leads to the possibility of compaction in the vicinity of the borehole. One effect is the risk of the loss of stability or of increased sand production. Another is the reduction of the permeability locally. The probability of such occurrences and the magnitude of such effects is currently under debate.

Although the formation of compaction bands in porous rocks has already been investigated in several studies, both in the laboratory and in situ, the extent data about the influence of the inherent anisotropy on the mechanical properties of porous rocks is limited. Baud et al. [1] documented an influence of the orientation of the bedding plane on the mechanical behavior of Diemelstadt sandstone and Louis et al.  [2] documented an influence of the bedding plane on the formation of discrete and continuous compaction bands in Rothbach Sandstone.

On the basis of an extensive experimental program of triaxial and isotropic compression, triaxial extension tests as well as investigations with ultrasonic pulse method, the mechanical behavior of a highly porous rock (Maastricht Calcarenite) is analyzed with a special focus on the formation of compaction bands. The test program is performed with samples cored under different inclinations to the bedding plane to study the influence of the inherent anisotropy on the mechanical properties.

Based on the experimental results, the applicability of a constitutive model for the description of the mechanical properties is tested. Furthermore it is examined how the inherent anisotropy may be considered in the constitutive model and different approaches are discussed.

For the numerical simulation a nonlocal model is suggested to simulate the formation of compaction bands. Finally, conclusions are drawn and an outlook on experimental investigations of the influence of compaction banding on the hydraulically properties is given.


[1]P. Baud, P. Meredith und E. Townend, „Permeability evolution during triaxial compaction of an anisotropic porous sandstone,“ Journal of Geophysical Research, May 2012.

[2]L. Louis, P. Baud und T.-f. Wong, „Microstructural Inhomogeneity and Mechanical Anisotropy Associated with Bedding in Rothbach Sandstone,“ Pure and Applied Geophysics, July 2009.


How to cite: Leuthold, J., Gerolymatou, E., and Triantafyllidis, T.: Anisotropy in soft rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22373, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22373, 2020.

D1171 |
Maya Kobchenko, Anne Pluymakers, Benoit Cordonnier, and François Renard

Shales are layered sedimentary rocks, which can be almost impermeable for fluids and act as seals and cap-rock, or, if a shale layer hosts a fracture network, it can act as a fluid reservoir and/or a conduit.  Organic-rich shales contain organic matter - kerogen, which can transform from solid-state to oil and gas during shale burial and exposure to heat. When the organic matter is decomposing into lighter molecular weight hydrocarbons, the pore-pressure inside the shale rock increases and can drive propagation of hydraulic fractures and strongly modify the permeability of these tight rocks. Density, geometry, extension, and connectivity of the final fracture network depend on the combination of the heating conditions and history of external loading experienced by the shale reservoir. Here, we have performed a series of rock physics experiments where organic-.rich shale samples were heated, under in situ conditions, and the development of microfractures was imaged through time. We used the high-energy X-ray beam produced at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to acquire dynamic microtomography images and monitor different modes of the shale deformation in-situ in 3D. We reproduce natural conditions of the shale deformation processes using a combination of vertical load, confining and heating of the shale samples. Shales feature natural mineral and silt lamination and hydraulic fractures easily propagate parallel to these laminae if no overburden stress is applied. However, if the principal external load becomes vertical, perpendicular to the shale lamination, the fracture propagation direction can deviate from the horizontal one. Together horizontal and vertical fractures form a three-dimensional connected fracture network, which provides escaping pathways for generated hydrocarbons. Our experiments demonstrate that tight shale rocks, which are often considered as impermeable, could have hosted transient episodes of micro-fracturing and high permeability during burial history.

How to cite: Kobchenko, M., Pluymakers, A., Cordonnier, B., and Renard, F.: Time-lapse X-ray imaging of deformation modes in organic-rich Green River Shale heated under confinement , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5417, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5417, 2020.

D1172 |
Paul Glover, Rong Peng, Piroska Lorinczi, and Bangrang Di

The development of seismo-electric (SE) exploration techniques relies significantly upon being able to understand and quantify the strength of frequency-dependent SE conversion. However, there have been very few SE measurements or modelling carried out. In this paper we present two experimental methods for making such measurements, and examine how the strength of SE conversion depends on frequency, porosity, permeability, and why it is unusual in shales. The first is based on an electromagnetic shaker and can be used in the 1 Hz to 2 kHz frequency range. The second is a piezo-electric water-bath apparatus which can be used in the 1kHz to 500 kHz frequency range.

The first apparatus has been tested on samples of Berea sandstone. Both the in-phase and in-quadrature components of the streaming potential coefficient have been measured with an uncertainty of better than ±4%. The experimental measurements show the critical frequency at which the quadrature component is maximal, and the frequency of this component is shown to agree very well with both permeability and grain size. The experimental measurements have been modelled using several different methods.

The second apparatus was used to measure SE coupling as a function of porosity and permeability, interpreting the results using a micro-capillary model and current theory. We found a general agreement between the theoretical curves and the test data, indicating that SE conversion is enhanced by increases in porosity over a range of different frequencies. However, SE conversion has a complex relationship with rock permeability, which changes with frequency, and which is more sensitive to changes in the petrophysical properties of low-permeability samples. This observation suggests that seismic conversion may have advantages in characterizing low permeability reservoirs such as tight gas and tight oil reservoirs as well as shale gas reservoirs.

We have also carried out SE measurements on Sichuan Basin shales (permeability 1.47 – 107 nD), together with some comparative measurements on sandstones (0.2 – 60 mD). Experimental results show that SE conversion in shales is comparable to that exhibited by sandstones, and is approximately independent of frequency in the seismic frequency range (<1 kHz). Anisotropy which arises from bedding in the shales results in anisotropy in the streaming potential coefficient. Numerical modelling has been used to examine the effects of varying zeta potential, porosity, tortuosity, dimensionless number and permeability. It was found that SE conversion is highly sensitive to changes in porosity, tortuosity and zeta potential in shales. Numerical modelling suggests that the cause of the SE conversion in shales is enhanced zeta potentials caused by clay minerals, which are highly frequency dependent. This is supported by a comparison of our experimental data with numerical modelling as a function of clay mineral composition from XRD measurements. Consequently, the sensitivity of SE coupling to the clay minerals suggests that SE exploration may have potential for the characterization of clay minerals in shale gas and shale oil reservoirs.

How to cite: Glover, P., Peng, R., Lorinczi, P., and Di, B.: Seismo-electric Conversion in Sandstones and Shales using 2 Different Experimental Approaches, Modelling and Theory, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8454, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8454, 2020.

D1173 |
Clara Jodry, Céline Mallet, Jacques Deparis, Salma Ammor, Jean-Michel Baltassat, and Mohamed Azaroual

The vadose zone (VZ) is a highly heterogeneous and dynamic system that have a huge impact on fluid flows and heat transfer, from the soil to the saturated zone. In order to characterize flow patterns within the vadose zone, a comprehensive knowledge of spatial hydraulic parameters distribution is necessary. In this matter, geophysical techniques have proven to be efficient, providing various physical parameters and imaging of the underground. Nonetheless, these techniques are mainly used for water-saturated media and an appropriate calibration of the standard petrophysical relationships is necessary for VZ.

This study is carried out in the framework of the implementation, in an agricultural field, of the platform “Observatory of Transfers in the Vadose Zone” (O-ZNS, Centre – Val de Loire, France). The O-ZNS aims to understand and quantify mass and heat transfers in the VZ thanks to an exceptional well (depth – 20 m and diameter – 4m) associated with boreholes dedicated to geophysical measurements and instrumented piezometers. The emphasis is put on developing high-resolution investigations and focused monitoring techniques and sensors for the vadose zone. This observatory offers a unique support to study and establish the relationships to convert physical responses into hydraulic parameters, especially water content, in the VZ of a limestone aquifer.

The geophysical field investigations, conducted prior to the digging of the well, included various scales of observation with 3D Electrical Resistivity Imaging, 2D Magnetic Resonance tomography and crossholes Ground Penetrating Radar tomography. These highlighted three main lithological groups with a few meter-thick soil, a heterogeneous karstified limestone and a massive fractured limestone, all part of the same geological formation. The results put forth the importance of the karstified level heterogeneity on transfers’ behaviour in the VZ, highlighting the presence of clay lens and a disparate water content distribution.

Going further, laboratory investigations have been carried out using field cores in order to characterize the VZ of the Beauce Limestone aquifer. Laboratory analyses enable us to establish Topp’s, Archie’s and CRIM (Complex Refractive Index Model) empirical relations and model. The objective now is to link quantitatively these geophysical field measurements, primarily electrical conductivity and dielectric permittivity, to the medium’s hydraulic parameters (e.g., hydraulic conductivity, porosity, water content). Results from this analysis should bring valuable information on the hydrogeological behaviour of the aquifer system and underline the influence of the observation scales on the estimation of the hydraulic parameter values of the vadose zone.

How to cite: Jodry, C., Mallet, C., Deparis, J., Ammor, S., Baltassat, J.-M., and Azaroual, M.: Hydraulic characterization of a karstic limestone vadose zone based on multi-methods geophysical measurements and lab testing, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7213, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7213, 2020.

D1174 |
Arash Moaven, Thierry J. Massart, and Sergio Zlotnik
Keywords: Thermo Hydro-Mechanical (THM), Model Order Reduction (MOR), Parametric solutions, Real time simulations.
Radioactive waste is a by-product of nuclear power generation. It is hazardous to all forms of life and the environment. Its radioactive activity naturally decays over time, so waste has to be isolated and confined in appropriate disposal facilities for a sufficient period until it no longer poses a threat. Deep geological repositories constitute one of the most promising options for isolating this type of waste from human and environmental interactions. The analysis and prediction of the behaviour of such systems relies on coupled THM models [1]. The coupled nature of the problem is explained as follows [2]: i) a thermal part including the heat released by the wastes; ii) the mechanical behavior of the canister holding the wastes, the isolation system and the underground host rock; and, iii) the flow of natural water present in any underground porous media.

A coupled THM problem depends on space, time, and on material parameters (for instance, elastic modulus (E), heat conductivity (κ) and hydraulic conductivity (K)) and geometric parameters (for instance, the distance between canisters). We seek for families of solutions depending on these parameters. We would like to provide a real time numerical simulation of the THM problem for any value of the parameters within a range. Real time here, means a solution provided in a few seconds (instead of several hours). Such a solution can be used within an inversion problem, to obtain an best fitting value of the parameters based on some observations, or even in a control situation, where the prediction of the simulation is used to take some decision in the field.
Reduced Order Methods (ROM)  are a family of numerical methods able to provide such a solutions. In this work we will present several parametric problems, and show how ROM  [3] can provide real time solution to (simple) THM problems.


[1] Toprak, E.; Mokni, N.; Olivella, S.; Pintado, X.: Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Modelling of Buffer. Synthesis Report. August 2013.

[2] Selvadurai, A.P.S; Suvorov, A.P.: Thermo-Poroelasticity and Geomechanics.CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2017.

[3] Diez, P.; Zlotnik, S.; Garcia-Gonzalez, A.; Huerta, A.: Encapsulated PGD algebraic toolbox operating with high-dimensional data. Accepted In Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, 2019.

How to cite: Moaven, A., Massart, T. J., and Zlotnik, S.: Real time solutions of Thermo-Hydro Mechanical problems with application to the design of Engineered Barriers via Reduced Order Methods, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10171, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10171, 2020.

D1175 |
Christian Deusner, Shubhangi Gupta, Andrzej Falenty, Elke Kossel, and Matthias Haeckel

The experimental and numerical investigation of THCM process coupling is important to better understand reservoir geotechnical behavior and sub-surface processes. In particular, when THCM process coupling is dominated by focused fluid migration and localized chemical or microbiological reactions, bulk sediment and, thus, reservoir geotechnical behavior becomes poorly predictable. To improve the understanding of these complicated processes and process coupling on relevant time and spatial scales, it is necessary to combine experimental and numerical simulation approaches, and to develop complementary investigation strategies.    

We use different high-pressure flow-through experimental systems with triaxial testing units in combination with tomographical imaging tools (e.g. X-ray CT and ERT) to simulate and analyze relevant processes in ocean and earth systems. Our geotechnical studies are carried out at high hydrostatic pressures up to 40 MPa and temperatures between -30°C and 80°C. The experimental systems allow testing of large sample specimen (up to a diameter of 150 mm and a height of 400 mm). In particular, we investigate scenarios with heterogeneous phase distributions and dynamic flow conditions, which cannot be interpreted based on the assumption of homogeneous phase distributions in a sensible manner.

Here, we focus on discussing experimental and numerical strategies and problems towards understanding geotechnical behavior of heterogeneous sediments, including issues from gas migration in fine-grained sediments (e.g. silty clays), gas hydrate formation under two-phase flow conditions, and localized failure and shear banding in cemented soils. We present results from recent studies on underground usage including gas production and injection scenarios, which are relevant for the understanding of reservoir behavior, storage scenarios and, overall, marine sediment and slope stability. One of the most important aspects is to improve current strategies for combined and complementary experimental and numerical studies, considering that the overall objective is to understand processes on a reservoir scale.

How to cite: Deusner, C., Gupta, S., Falenty, A., Kossel, E., and Haeckel, M.: Analysis of THCM coupling in heterogeneous sediments using high-pressure flow-through testing systems, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22565, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22565, 2020.

D1176 |
Thomas Heinze

Maximizing heat exploitation in geothermal systems is crucial for the economic efficiency of many geothermal systems. As the hydraulic flow in most geothermal systems is primarily due to fracture flow, heat transfer processes along the fracture surfaces are essential. However, while flow and mass transport in a single fracture have been studied experimentally and theoretically to a great extent, heat transfer processes have been rarely investigated. Laboratory experiments show the influence of the fracture surface morphology on flow and heat transfer processes, though a physical interpretation has been missing so far. Further, in many geothermal systems but also in many natural hydrothermal systems, the solid and fluid phases are not in local thermal equilibrium. Parameterization of local thermal non-equilibrium models was originally developed for porous media and adoptions to fractures have been cumbersome. In this work, I present a numerical study on heat transfer processes across rough fracture surfaces. Using a three-dimensional steady-state flow model, heat transfer across the fracture surface is studied for both scenarios: assuming and neglecting a thermal equilibrium across phase boundaries. Also, separate fracture morphologies have been studied using natural sandstone probes as well as synthetically generated fractures. The numerical simulations results are compared to laboratory experiments using artificially generated and 3D-printed fracture surfaces of various fracture morphologies for code validation. The full three-dimensional simulations reveal the role of flow channeling effects on the heat transfer taking place along rough surfaces, which is not captured by simulations with reduced spatial dimensions. The simulations results suggest a re-examination of the effective heat transfer coefficient for fractured reservoirs under local thermal non-equilibrium conditions incorporating characteristics of fracture morphology. The simulations results can also be linked to thermal stress generation and possibly explaining the deformations of fracture surfaces observed in the laboratory. However, parameterization of surface roughness is neither distinct nor trivial. Various parameters exist, such as the joint roughness coefficient, Hurst exponent or statistical descriptions, but none has been successfully linked to flow, transport or transfer characteristics. Relating fracture morphology with results of numerical simulations and laboratory findings regarding transfer and transport processes indicate a shortfall of conventional roughness parameterizations to sufficiently describe the observed variation in heat transfer parameters.

How to cite: Heinze, T.: Numerical study of heat transfer across rough fracture surfaces, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4195, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4195, 2020.

D1177 |
| solicited
Yoshitaka Nara, Masaji Kato, Tsutomu Sato, Masanori Kohno, and Toshinori Sato

It is essential to understand the long-term migration of radionuclides when considering rock engineering projects such as the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The network of fractures and pores in a rock mass plays a major role in fluid migration as it provides a pathway for fluid flow. The geometry of the network can change due to fracture sealing by some fine-grained materials over long-term periods. Groundwater usually contains fine-grained minerals such as clay minerals. Therefore, it is possible that the accumulation of such fine-grained minerals occurs within a rock fracture under groundwater flow. In this case, the aperture of a fracture may decrease, which brings about the decrease of the permeability. It is therefore essential to conduct permeability measurements using water including fine-grained minerals in order to understand the permeability characteristics of a rock. However, this has not been investigated well. In this study, we use a macro-fractured granite sample to investigate the temporal change of the permeability that occurs under the flow of water that includes two different amounts of clay.

It was shown that the clay accumulated in the macro-fracture and that the permeability of the macro-fractured granite sample decreased over time. It was also recognized that the decrease of the permeability was more significant under the water flow with the higher clay content. As a result of the observation using microscope, it was recognized that the clay minerals accumulated in the macro-fracture in the granite sample, which decreased the aperture of the fracture. We concluded that the accumulation of clay minerals in the fracture decreased the permeability of the rock. Furthermore, it is concluded that the filling and closure of fractures in rock is possible under the flow of groundwater including clay minerals.


How to cite: Nara, Y., Kato, M., Sato, T., Kohno, M., and Sato, T.: Temporal change of permeability in macro-fractured granite by accumulation of fine-grained minerals, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1217, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1217, 2020.

D1178 |
Tissa Illangasekare and Ahamd Askar

The carbon storage and energy development activities in deep geologic zones that potentially affect water quality in shallow aquifers are of central importance in the energy-water nexus. The extraction of natural gas involves hydraulically fracturing deep shale formations. The storing of carbon dioxide in deep geologic formations is pursued to mitigate global warming. Both these activities have the potential to contaminate the shallow aquifers used for potable water and return the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. In the case of carbon storage, both during and post-injection phases, it is possible for the CO2 and formation brine to leak through natural faults, pressure-induced fractures, or failed well casings. Two scientific challenges have to be addressed to safely store the carbon in the deep formation while protecting the shallow aquifers. The first, characterizing the affected geologic formations, and the second is monitoring the leakage. Monitoring involves determining leakage locations and tracking of the gas and brine plume through the geologic formation between the deep confining layer used for storage and the shallow aquifer. Challenges to the characterization derive from the limitations and sparsity of observational data in deep formations.  Effective monitoring poses both scientific and engineering challenges as the leakage locations not known, and the resulting pathways cannot be predicted easily. This paper presents two studies where intermediate-scale testing systems were used to understand the processes that occur during the leakage of stored supercritical CO2.  The focus of the first study was to better understand the process of CO2 gas exsolution after a leak from the deep confining formation. The second study addresses the issue of monitoring brine leakage from the confined formation where supercritical CO2 is stored. The improved understanding of these leakage processes will help to develop assessment and monitoring systems for storage permeance and protecting shallow sources of potable groundwater. It is not feasible to conduct experiments in the field to obtain both the fundamental process understanding and test and validate developed modeling and monitoring tools due to lack of control of boundary and initial conditions and expense in fully characterizing deep formations. Tests in intermediate scale synthetic aquifers where highly controlled experiments can be conducted to obtain accurate data provide an alternative to overcome this challenge. However, designing test systems and performing tests under ambient laboratory conditions different types of challenges. This paper will present some of the challenges and how they were overcome. The results on new process insights, how the data was used to assess the natural capacity of the aquifer attenuation of leaking gas, and validating inversion methods for site characterization and leakage detection will be presented. Even though this study focused on CO2 leakage, the results will be of value in problems of natural has leakage during hydraulic fracturing in alternate energy development.


How to cite: Illangasekare, T. and Askar, A.: Understanding the leakage of greenhouse gasses from seep geologic formations during geologic carbon storage and hydraulic fracturing: intermediate scale testing challenges , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19592, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19592, 2020.

D1179 |
Rumbidzai Nhunduru, Amir Jahanbakhsh, Omid Shahrokhi, Krystian Wlodarczyk, Duncan Hand, William MacPherson, Susana Garcia, and Mercedes Maroto-Valer

Residual trapping in which ganglia of fluid are isolated and immobilised in porous media by capillary forces is innate to several subsurface engineering applications including carbon geo-sequestration. Residual trapping is highly significant in carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, as entrapment of supercritical CO2 in rock pore spaces, limits upward migration of the buoyant CO2 plume and enhances long-term CO2 storage security. It is estimated that residual trapping contributes up to 40% of overall trapping CO2 in the first century following injection (1). The amount of residual trapping depends largely on the wettability of the porous rock.

Brine filled saline aquifers have been identified as having the largest potential for CO2 storage with an estimated cumulative storage capacity of 104 Giga-tons of CO2 (2). Likewise, the focus of many studies has been devoted to investigating residual trapping in water-wet, brine filled sandstone reservoirs, and little attention has been given to intermediate-wet and oil-wet carbonate reservoirs. However, until CO2 storage technology reaches maturity, initial CO2 sequestration projects will most likely be conducted in depleted and oil producing carbonate reservoirs due to economic benefits associated with CO2 enhanced oil recovery and the existence of installed infrastructure which can be reassigned for CO2 injection purposes (3). 

Accordingly, in this work, the intrinsically water-wetting surfaces of laser fabricated glass micromodels (4); which are two-dimensional representations of natural porous rock structures, were chemically modified to imitate intermediate-wet reservoir conditions through a silanization procedure. Imbibition experiments were conducted in the micromodels using two proxy, CO2-brine fluid pairs; deionized (DI) water and n-decane as well as DI water and air.

Fluid displacement under intermediate wettability was analysed and compared with water-wet conditions and residual fluid saturations were quantified for different porous structures. The Volume of Fluid method was used to simulate the experiments in OpenFOAM. Results from the micromodel experiments were used to validate the simulations.

This work has demonstrated that fluid displacement during the imbibition process occurs through a series of cooperative pore-filling events under intermediate-wet conditions and the presence of dead-end pores was found to enhance residual trapping of the non-wetting fluid. Coupling experimental and simulation studies provides a unique insight to multiphase flow under intermediate wet conditions.  



This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (MILEPOST, Grant agreement no: 695070). This paper reflects only the authors’ view and ERC is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.



  1. Li X, Akbarabadi M, Karpyn ZT, Piri M, Bazilevskaya E, Experimental Investigation of Carbon Dioxide Trapping Due to Capillary Retention in Saline Aquifers, Geofluids, 2015;15(4):563–76.
  2. Benson; GEA; Iiasa. Chapter 13: Carbon Capture and Storage. Global Energy Asssessment. 2012.
  3. Al-Menhali AS, Menke HP, Blunt MJ, Krevor SC. Pore Scale Observations of Trapped CO2 in Mixed-Wet Carbonate Rock: Applications to Storage in Oil Fields. Environ Sci Technol 2016;50(18):10282–90.
  4. Wlodarczyk KL, Carter RM, Jahanbakhsh A, Lopes AA, Mackenzie MD, Maier RRJ, Hand DP, and Maroto-Valer MM, Rapid Laser Manufacturing of Microfluidic Devices from Glass Substrates. Micromachines. 2018; 9(8)

How to cite: Nhunduru, R., Jahanbakhsh, A., Shahrokhi, O., Wlodarczyk, K., Hand, D., MacPherson, W., Garcia, S., and Maroto-Valer, M.: A Pore-Scale Investigation of Fluid Displacement and Residual Trapping Under Intermediate-Wet Conditions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-805, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-805, 2020.

D1180 |
Anna Shevtsova, Egor Filev, Maria Bobrova, Sergey Stanchits, and Vladimir Stukachev

Nowadays Hydraulic Fracturing (HF) is one of the most effective stimulation technique for hydrocarbon extraction from unconventional reservoirs, as well as enhanced geothermal applications. Practical applications of HF can have different aims. In one case, we need to stop cracks inside the host rock to avoid some HF breakthroughs into other formations and possible groundwater pollutions. The second situation is when we need to fracture several bedding planes in a reservoir which has a complex structure, especially in case of the presence of multiple natural fractures in unconventional reservoir. It is important to study hydraulic fracturing, its propagation and conditions of interaction with interfaces in laboratory conditions before expensive field application.

The present work demonstrates the results of a laboratory study designed to understand fracture interaction with artificial interfaces. For the first series of experiments, we used some natural materials such as shales, sandstones, dolomites and limestones with different porosity, permeability and mechanical properties. During these experiments we initiated hydraulic fracturing in homogeneous specimens with and without artificial surfaces, modelling natural fractures or bedding planes in unconventional reservoirs. For the second series of experiments, we used a combination of different materials to understand HF propagation in heterogeneous media, to study conditions of HF crossing or arrest at the boundaries between different types of rock. These laboratory experiments were done to create HF simulating natural processes in fractured and heterogeneous rocks or reservoirs.

Series of hydraulic fracturing experiments under uniaxial load conditions were conducted using the multifunctional system MTS 815.04. Before testing, samples were scanned by 3D CT System to characterize the rock fabric, and after testing, CT scanning was repeated to characterize 3D shape of created HF. The dynamics of HF initiation and propagation was monitored by Acoustic Emission (AE) technique, using piezoelectric sensors glued to the surface of the rock to record elastic waves radiated during the process of HF propagation. The experiments were made with different injection rates and fluid viscosities. Changes in radial strain, injection pressure and microseismic data over time were recorded.

As the result, these experiments indicate significant factors (rock heterogeneity, porosity, permeability, fluid viscosity and injection rate), influencing cracks initiation, propagation or arrest on the artificial interface. The fracture propagation and opening are characterized by measured radial deformation, fluid pressure and geometrical orientation in the sample volume. The experiments demonstrated, that fracture easily crossed artificial surface in the homogeneous limestone samples. And cracks initiated in limestone were arrested on the border with shale. In all cases combination of the AE and deformation monitoring allows to indicate fracture initiation, propagation and arrest.

How to cite: Shevtsova, A., Filev, E., Bobrova, M., Stanchits, S., and Stukachev, V.: Laboratory study of Hydraulic Fracture interaction with artificial interfaces., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9408, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9408, 2020.

D1181 |
Emilio L. Pueyo, Mª Teresa Román-Berdiel, Conxi Ayala, Francesca Loi, Ruth Soto, Elisabeth Beamud, Elena Fernandez de Arévalo, Ana Gimeno, Luis Galán, Stefanía Schamuells, Nuria Bach-Oller, Pilar Clariana, Félix M. Rubio, Antonio M. Casas-Sainz, Belén Oliva-Urcia, José Luis García-Lobón, Carmen Rey, and Joan Martí

Geophysical surveying (both gravity and magnetic) is of great help in 3D modeling of granitic bodies at depth. As in any potential-field geophysics study, petrophysical data (density [r], magnetic susceptibility [k] and remanence) are of key importance to reduce the uncertainty during the modeling of rock volumes. Several works have already demonstrated that ∂18O or [SiO2] display a negative correlation to density and to magnetic susceptibility. These relationships are particularly stable (and linear) in the so-called “non-magnetic” granites (susceptibilities falling within the paramagnetic range; between 0 and 500 10-6 S.I.) and usually coincident with calc-alcaline (CA) compositions (very common in Variscan domains). In this work we establish robust correlations between density and magnetic susceptibility at different scales in CA granites from the Pyrenees. Other plutons from Iberia were also considered (Veiga, Monesterio). The main goal is to use the available and densely sampled nets of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) data, performed during the 90’s and early 2000’s, together with new data acquired in the last few years, as an indirect measurement of density in order to carry out the 3D modelling of the gravimetric signal.


We sampled some sections covering the main range of variability of magnetic susceptibility in the Mont Louis-Andorra, Maladeta and Marimanha granite bodies (Pyrenees), all three characterized by even and dense nets of AMS sites (more than 550 sites and 2500 AMS measurements). We performed new density and susceptibility measurements along two main cross-sections (Maladeta and Mont Louis-Andorra). In these outcrops, numerous measurements (usually more than 50) were taken in the field with portable susceptometers (SM20 and KT20 devices). Density data were derived from the Arquimedes principle applied on large hand samples cut in regular cubes weighting between 0.3 and 0.6 kg (whenever possible). These samples were subsampled and measured later on with a KLY-3 susceptibility bridge in the laboratory. Additionally, some density data were derived from the geometry and weighting of AMS samples.


After the calibration of portable and laboratory susceptometers, density and magnetic susceptibility were plotted together. Regressions were derived for every granite body and they usually followed a linear function similar to: r = 2600 kg/m3 + (0.5 * k [10-6 S.I.]). As previously stated, this relationship is only valid in CA and paramagnetic granites, where iron is mostly fractioned in iron-bearing phyllosilicates and the occurrence of magnetite is negligible (or at least its contribution to the bulk susceptibility). These relationships allow transforming magnetic susceptibility data into density data helping in the 3D modelling of the gravimetric signal when density data from rock samples are scarce. Given the large amount of AMS studies worldwide, together with the quickness and cost-effectiveness of susceptibility measurements with portable devices, this methodology allows densifying and homogenizing the petrophysical data when modelling granite rock volumes based on both magnetic and gravimetric signal.

How to cite: Pueyo, E. L., Román-Berdiel, M. T., Ayala, C., Loi, F., Soto, R., Beamud, E., Fernandez de Arévalo, E., Gimeno, A., Galán, L., Schamuells, S., Bach-Oller, N., Clariana, P., Rubio, F. M., Casas-Sainz, A. M., Oliva-Urcia, B., García-Lobón, J. L., Rey, C., and Martí, J.: Density and magnetic susceptibility relationships in non-magnetic granites; a “wildcard” for modeling potential fields geophysical data., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8736, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8736, 2020.

D1182 |
Michele Pugnetti, Yi Zhou, and Andrea Biedermann

Testing the efficiency of ferrofluid impregnation in porous media – recommendations for future magnetic pore fabric studies


Michele Pugnetti*, Yi Zhou*, Andrea R. Biedermann*

* Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern, Baltzerstrasse 1+3, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland (michele.pugnetti@geo.unibe.ch)


In AMS (anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility)-based pore fabric studies, the role of ferrofluid impregnation is crucial to ensure significant magnetic measurements. However, no standard methods to test the ferrofluid impregnation of porous media have been proposed so far. The details of fluid behaviour in porous media are important in many fields of natural sciences, but nanoparticle distribution in the fluid is particularly important for magnetic measurements. In this study methods to test the impregnation efficiency of ferrofluid in porous media, and nanoparticle distribution are proposed, using different materials: wood, agarose and TEOS (tetraethylorthosilicate) gel, and synthetic samples of given composition and grain size, as well as natural rocks. Magnetic pore fabric measurements are normally performed on natural porous samples to correlate the direction of maximum magnetic susceptibility with the direction of preferred pore elongation, and preferred flow direction. The advantage of using artificial samples is the possibility to control and adjust some physical parameters, including porosity and pore size, to keep them more uniform or fix them to a given value. This allows investigating the nanoparticle distribution in ideal samples without the influence of additional heterogeneities inherent to natural samples and to determine the lowest porosity value and smallest pore size that is possible to impregnate with ferrofluid. In particular, the agarose and TEOS gel have a uniform porous structure controlled by the gel concentration or chemical agents used in sample preparation. The wood has a wider range of porosity compared to rocks and a known intrinsically anisotropic structure. The synthetic samples have a uniform grain size, mineralogy and structure. First the porosity of the samples was measured, then to impregnate the samples different methods were developed and tested, (1) percolation, (2) standard vacuum impregnation, (3) flow-through impregnation, (4) diffusion process in gel structure. Impregnation efficiency was evaluated both optically and magnetically. Different impregnation methods provide different impregnation efficiency depending also on the investigated material; in particular porosity plays an important role in limiting the impregnation efficiency. Initial experiments indicate that in general, flow-through impregnation is more efficient than vacuum impregnation because it combines the effect of vacuum with the pressure applied to the fluid that is pushed through the sample. The best results on natural samples were obtained using calcarenites with relatively high porosity. These results and the methods proposed here will help advance magnetic pore fabrics studies and impregnation processes in general.   


How to cite: Pugnetti, M., Zhou, Y., and Biedermann, A.: Testing the efficiency of ferrofluid impregnation in porous media – recommendations for future magnetic pore fabric studies, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5434, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5434, 2020.

D1183 |
Roberta Ruggieri and Fabio Trippetta

Unconventional oils are emerging as an alternative hydrocarbon reserve since conventional oil is depleting nowadays. A kind of unconventional oil is bitumen, which is characterized by high density, high viscosity and API gravity less than 10° and these physical properties are temperature sensitive. Therefore, an accurate assessment of variation in petrophysical properties of bitumen as a function of temperature and pressure is interesting in oil exploration industry.

In this work we investigated the role of heavy hydrocarbons (HHC) in changing petrophysical properties of carbonate-bearing rocks of the Majella reservoir performing seismic wave velocity measurements at increasing temperature. The investigated lithology belongs to the Bolognano formation that outcrops naturally in saturated and unsaturated conditions in the northwest sector of Majella Mountain (in Central Italy).

We conducted ultrasonic measurements of compressional and shear wave velocities on HHC-bearing carbonate samples showing different bitumen content and porosity between 10% and 19%. Firstly, we characterized bitumen density by HCl dissolution of the hosting rock, that resulted to be included between 1.14 and 1.26 gr/cm3 at ambient temperature. Then, we calculated HHC content of our samples, spanning from 2% (low HHC-bearing sample) to 16% (high HHC-bearing sample). Our acoustic velocities point out an inverse relationship with temperature. P- and S-wave velocities depict a distinct trend with increasing temperature depending on the amount of HHC content. Indeed, samples with the highest HHC content show a larger gradient of velocity changes in the temperature range of about 60°-50° C, suggesting that bitumen can be in a fluid state. Conversely, below about 50° C the velocity gradient is lower because, at this temperature, bitumen can change its phase in a solid state. Currently, we are analysing the coupling effect of temperature and pressure on HHC-bearing carbonate samples to test the acoustic response of the investigated samples simulating the reservoir conditions.

Our preliminary results highlight a strongly temperature dependence for HHC-bearing carbonate properties and bitumen influences the acoustic response of carbonate rocks. Such petrophysical characterization would provide a better link between seismic parameters and the hydrocarbon properties with important implications for reservoir characterization from seismic data and for production monitoring. 


How to cite: Ruggieri, R. and Trippetta, F.: Combination effects of temperature and pressure on the petrophysical properties of bitumen-bearing carbonate rocks: insight for the Majella reservoir (Italy), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14960, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14960, 2020.

D1184 |
Mohamed Salah

Carbonate rocks are common in many parts of the world including the Eastern Mediterranean where they host significant groundwater supplies and are used widely in engineering as building and ornamental stones. Porosity of carbonate rocks plays a critical role in fluid storage and retrieval. The pore structure connectivity, in particular, controls many properties of rocks, and the relationships between the characteristics of individual minerals and the gross behavior of the rock. To study the relationships between porosity, rock properties, pore structure, pore size, and their impact on reservoir characteristics, several carbonate rock samples were collected from four stratigraphic sections exposed near Sidon, south Lebanon. The studied carbonate rocks are related to marine deposits of different ages (e.g., Upper Cretaceous, Eocene and Upper Miocene). In order to understand the pore connectivity, the MICP (mercury injection capillary pressure) is conducted on ten representative samples. Results from the SEM analysis indicate the dominance of very fine and fine pore sizes with various categories ranging in diameter from 0.1 to10 µm. The MICP data revealed that the pore throat radii vary widely from 0.001 to 1.4µm, and that all samples are dominated by micropore throats. The grain size analysis indicated that the studied rocks have significant amounts of silt- and clay-size grains with respect to the coarser sand-size particles; suggesting a high proportion of microporosity. Obtained results such as the poorly-sorted nature of grains, high microporosity, and the high percentage of micropore throats justify the observed low mean hydraulic radius, the high entry pressure, and the very low permeability of the studied samples. These results suggest that the carbonate rocks near Sidon (south of Lebanon) are possibly classified as non-reservoir facies.

How to cite: Salah, M.: Pore Structure and Petrophysical Characterization of Carbonate Rocks from Southern Lebanon , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1920, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1920, 2020.

D1185 |
Benedikt Ahrens, Mandy Duda, and Erik H. Saenger

Understanding the deformation-related thermomechanical state of reservoir rocks under in-situ conditions is essential for modelling the stress distribution and stability of subsurface structures, for example associated with aftershock activity and induced seismicity. Commonly, reservoir modelling approaches make use of the generalized friction criterion according to Byerlee, which distinguishes between depths below and above approximately 6 km. However, numerous studies have shown that thermomechanical rock properties under elevated pressure and temperature conditions differ significantly from those at the surface and among rock types. The significant influence of the geothermal gradient on elastic and inelastic rock properties has already been demonstrated for temperature variations as low as 150 °C. Studies on the effect of in-situ stress and temperature conditions on post-failure behaviour and frictional properties are completely lacking.

In our experimental study we determined the thermomechanical properties of porous Ruhr sandstone samples during conventional triaxial deformation tests to derive stress- and temperature-dependent failure and friction criteria. Effective confining pressures and temperatures applied in the tests cover the range of in-situ conditions equivalent to depths up to three kilometres. Simultaneously, ultrasonic P- and S-wave measurements were performed to determine properties of ultrasound wave propagation (i.e. dynamic elastic properties) as a function of in-situ conditions. Triaxial deformation experiments were conducted at various strain rates to investigate the deformation-rate dependence of the failure and friction criteria and the correlation between dynamic and static elastic properties.

How to cite: Ahrens, B., Duda, M., and Saenger, E. H.: Experimental investigations on the temperature and strain-rate dependence of failure and friction criteria for a porous sandstone, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15134, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15134, 2020.

D1186 |
Alexandra Kushnir, Michael Heap, Patrick Baud, and Thierry Reuschlé

While the deep granitic basement in the Upper Rhine Graben is currently being exploited as a geothermal reservoir at numerous geothermal sites, the Permo-Triassic sandstones that lie directly above the granite are critical to continued regional hydrothermal convection. Here we investigate the propensity for variably sealed fractures to be reactivated during deformation and the role this fracture reactivation plays on permeability enhancement in geothermal reservoirs. We source un-fractured, bedded sandstones and the same bedded sandstones containing a single, variably-sealed fracture from a 400 m-thick unit of Permo-Triassic sandstone sampled from the EPS-1 exploration well near Soultz-sous-Forêts (France) in the Upper Rhine Graben.

31 cylindrical samples (20 mm in diameter and 40 mm long) were cored such that their dominant structural feature (i.e. bedding or natural fracture) was oriented parallel, perpendicular, or at 30° to the sample axis. The initial permeability of the un-fractured samples ranged between 2.5×10-17 and 5.6×10-16 m2 and between 3.6×10-16 and 3.3×10-14 m2 for naturally fractured samples. In un-fractured samples, permeability decreases as a function of increased bedding angle; fracture orientation, however, does not appear to have a discernable influence on permeability. Samples were water-saturated and deformed until failure under pressure conditions appropriate to the Soultz-sous-Forêts geothermal system - Peff of 14.5 MPa - and at a strain rate of 10-6 s-1. All samples developed through-going shear fractures, however, only in samples containing partially sealed fractures did the experimentally produced fractures take advantage of the pre-existing features. In samples containing a fully-sealed fracture, the experimentally induced fracture developed in a previously undeformed part of the sandstone matrix. Further, post-deformation permeability measurements indicate that while sample permeability increased by up to one order of magnitude for a given sample, this increase is generally independent of feature orientation.

Therefore, formations containing sealed fractures may not necessarily be weaker and, as a consequence, may not be more apt to significant permeability increases during stimulation than un-fractured formations. These data can contribute to the development and optimization of stimulation techniques used in the Upper Rhine Graben.

How to cite: Kushnir, A., Heap, M., Baud, P., and Reuschlé, T.: Fracture reactivation for permeability enhancement in geothermal systems, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7273, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7273, 2020.

Chat time: Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 16:15–18:00

D1187 |
Guido Blöcher, Christian Kluge, Mauro Cacace, Harald Milsch, and Jean Schmittbuhl

The fluid flow in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) is dominated by hydraulically stimulated fractures and faults which are the key elements of their hydraulic performance and sustainability. At the fault scale, the flow performance is influenced by the aperture distribution which is strongly dependent on the fault roughness, the geological fault sealing, the relative shear displacement, and the amount of flow exchange between the matrix and the fault itself. On the mechanical side, stiffness and strength of partly sealed fault might alter or reinforced the mechanical behavior of the fault zone in particular with respect to new stimulations. In order to quantify the impact of chemical soft stimulation in EGS reservoir on the hydro-mechanical properties of a fault-rock system that includes fault-filling material, we conducted numerical flow through experiments of a granite reservoir hosting one single partly sealed fault of size 512x512 m². In order to mimic the chemical alteration of the fault-rock system we sequentially changed the distribution pattern of the fault-filling material by means of a hydro-poro-elastic coupled simulation. Navier-Stokes flow is solved in the 3-dimensional rough aperture and Darcy flow in the related poro-elastic matrix. By means of this model, an evaluation of the local channeling effect through the fault for various degrees of sealing was performed. Based on the obtained results, we derived a macroscopic change of the hydraulic-mechanical behavior of the fault-rock system, e.g. permeability change, fracture stiffness modulus.

How to cite: Blöcher, G., Kluge, C., Cacace, M., Milsch, H., and Schmittbuhl, J.: Impact of a partly sealed fault on hydro-mechanical properties of a granite reservoir, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15484, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15484, 2020.

D1188 |
Philip Meredith, Nicolas Brantut, and Patrick Baud

Compaction of porous sandstones is generally associated with a reduction in permeability. Depending on porosity and other microstructural characteristics, compaction may be diffuse or localised in bands. Compaction bands have been shown to act as barriers to fluid flow and therefore reduce permeability perpendicular to the band orentiation, and thus also introduce permeability anisotropy. Additionally, the localised nature of compaction bands should also introduce strong permeability heterogeneity. We present new experimental data on sandstone compaction combining acoustic emission monitoring and spatially distributed pore fluid pressure measurements, allowing us to establish how permeability heterogeneity develops during progressive compaction. Three sandstones were tested in the compactant regime: Locharbriggs sandstone, which is microstructurally heterogeneous with beds of higher and lower initial permeability; a low porosity (21%) Bleurville sandstone, which is microstructurally homogeneous and produces localised compaction bands; and a high porosity (24%) Bleurville sandstone, which is also homogeneous but produces compaction in a more diffuse pattern. At regular intervals during compactive deformation, a constant pore pressure difference was imposed at the upper and lower boundaries of the cylindrical samples, and steady-state flow allowed to become established. Following this, local pore pressure measurements were made at four locations, allowing us to derive estimates of the local permeability. In all samples, progressive compaction produced overall reductions in permeability. In addition, localised compaction also produced internal reorganisation of the permeability structure. Localised compaction bands caused local decreases in permeability, while more diffuse compaction produced a more homogeneous overall reduction in permeability.


How to cite: Meredith, P., Brantut, N., and Baud, P.: Permeability heterogeneity during sandstone compaction, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19657, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19657, 2020.

D1189 |
Gang Lei, Qinzhuo Liao, and Patil Shirish

Global energy demand is expected to grow significantly as the world population and the standard of living increase in the coming decades. As a potential source of energy, gas hydrate, which is a crystalline compound of gas-water mixture formed in stable of high pressure and low temperature, has been intensively investigated in the past few decades. In this work, a new analytical model is derived to study the effect of hydrate saturation on stress-dependent relative permeability behavior of hydrate-bearing sediments. The proposed relative permeability model solves the steady-state Navier-Stokes equations for gas-water two-phase flow in porous media with hydrates. It considers water saturation, hydrate saturation, viscosity ratio and hydrate-growth pattern, and is adequately validated with the experimental results in existing literatures. The model demonstrates that gas-water relative permeability in wall coating hydrates (WC hydrates) is larger than that in pore filling hydrates (PF hydrates). For WC hydrates, water phase relative permeability monotonically decreases as gas saturation increases. However, for PF hydrates, water phase relative permeability firstly increases and then decreases with the increase of gas saturation, which can be explained by the “lubricative” effect of the gas phase that exists between the water phase and hydrates. This work constitutes a comprehensive investigation of stress-dependent relative permeability in deformable hydrate-bearing sediments, which is a key issue for sustainable gas production. It not only provides theoretical foundations for quantifying relative permeability in hydrate-bearing sediments, but also can be used to estimate pore-scale parameters and rock lithology of gas hydrate-bearing sediments using inverse modeling.

How to cite: Lei, G., Liao, Q., and Shirish, P.: New Predictive Model for Relative Permeability of Deformable Gas Hydrate-Bearing Sediments, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2148, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2148, 2020.

D1190 |
Qinglin Deng, Jean Schimittbuhl, Guido Blocher, and Mauro Cacace

Fluid flow along fractures or in fractured rock is of great importance in Enhanced Geothermal System, since natural fracture networks generally affect the permeability of the reservoir rocks and therefore the hydraulic performance. The cubic law commonly estimates the permeability of a single fracture, which is only valid for the flow through two smooth parallel plates. In fact, the flow performance is strongly influenced by the aperture fluctuations, which are related to the fracture surface roughness, the fluid-rock interaction process, and the amount of flow exchange between the matrix and the fracture itself, etc.

To quantify the hydraulic performance and get the better knowledge of the more real fracture flow, we conduct numerical simulations of fluid flow in a fracture-rock system hosting one single rough fracture from laboratory to field scales. As an example, a 2D self-affine rough surface is synthetically generated (Candela et al, 2012), with two anisotropic roughness exponents H// = 0.6 along the slip direction, Hperp = 0.8 in the perpendicular direction and a RMS amplitude of 0.1m at the 512m scale. Based on this surface generation, the opening geometry of a rough fracture is obtained as an input structure for finite element mesh generation. On one hand, we apply a lubrication approximation and limit the fracture opening to spatially variable 2D features with lower-dimensional element embedded in a saturated porous. On the other hand, we consider the full 3D features of the fracture opening as the space between two surfaces symmetrical about the mean fracture plane. The simulations are performed in the framework of the Mutiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) combined with a MOOSE-based application GOLEM dedicated to modeling coupled Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical (THM) process in fractured geothermal reservoirs.

For the lubrication case, the mass balance equation for a saturated porous medium is described in terms of volumetric averaged mass conservation equations for the fluid phase, with Darcy’s law governing the momentum conservation equation. For the 3D fracture case, the incompressible Navier-Stokes equation is solved for the dynamic pressure and the velocity field inside the fracture only.

We compare the 2D and 3D cases and assess the effects of the nonlinear inertial term (u•∇)u in 3D case especially when the Reynolds number is high. The objective is to evaluate the large-scale hydraulic diffusivity of the fractured domain and its anisotropy owing to the strong contrast between the fluctuating fracture opening, and the homogeneous bulk porosity. The results show that the long-range aperture variations significantly affect the fluid flow, like the channeling effect and the hydraulic diffusivity anisotropy (i.e., along and perpendicular to the fault), which may have strong implications on the spatial distribution of fluid-induced seismic events in faulted reservoir.

How to cite: Deng, Q., Schimittbuhl, J., Blocher, G., and Cacace, M.: Fluid flow along a rough fracture: impact on hydraulic diffusivity , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16747, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16747, 2020.

D1191 |
Joanna Dziadkowiec, Hsiu-Wei Cheng, Anja Røyne, and Markus Valtiner

When two mineral surfaces are in close contact, nanometers to microns apart, the proximity of another surface can significantly influence the pathways of chemical reactions happening in the interfacial region. Apart from affecting the kinetics of dissolution and nucleation reactions in spatial confinement, the proximity of charged surfaces can lead to electrochemically induced recrystallization processes. The latter may happen in an asymmetric system, in which two surfaces have a dissimilar surface charge. The charge and mass transferred during electrochemical reactions can induce dissolution or growth of solids and can significantly affect the local topography of surfaces, causing them to smooth out or to roughen. In this work, we present the experimental study of reactive mineral interfaces, immersed in geologically relevant electrolyte solutions, obtained with the electrochemical surface forces apparatus (EC-SFA). EC-SFA setup consists of one mineral surface and one gold surface (working electrode), the surface charge of which is controlled by applying an electrical potential. EC-SFA can, therefore, monitor electrochemically induced surface recrystallization processes. As the SFA technique is based on white light interferometry measurements, the changes in mineral thickness during recrystallization can be determined with an accuracy better than a nanometer over micrometer-large contact regions. Moreover, SFA allows in situ measurement of surface forces acting between mineral surfaces, which can provide additional information about how the surface reactivity influences the cohesion between mineral surfaces by modifying adhesive and repulsive forces acting between them at small separations.

How to cite: Dziadkowiec, J., Cheng, H.-W., Røyne, A., and Valtiner, M.: Interfacial processes at dissimilarly charged mineral surfaces in contact – a surface forces apparatus study , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5982, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5982, 2020.

D1192 |
Miftah Hidayat, Jan Vinogradov, Stefan Iglauer, and Mohammad Sarmadivaleh

Electrochemical interactions of calcite with brines in natural subsurface settings have received ample attention in the last decades due to the broad range of their applications. These interactions can be described by an electrical property termed the zeta potential. Many numerical simulation studies using surface complexation modelling (SCM) have been performed to investigate the relationship between the zeta potential and a wide range of salinities and complex brine compositions. Although most of the simulated results, especially in low salinity conditions, successfully match the experimentally measured zeta potential, the simulated zeta potential for high salinity conditions is still poorly understood.

In this study, we present a new approach of SCM to simulate the zeta potential by considering the actual molecular-scale phenomena at the calcite-brine interface. Unlike previous SCM studies, our model considers the hydrated diameter of ions as the distance of approach, which depends on salinity. We also consider the permittivity of the Stern layer as a function of salinity, which is consistent with previous unrelated studies. We calculate the capacitance for each salinity based on the relationship between the hydrated diameter of ions and the permittivity of the Stern layer. Moreover, all calcite-brine surface reactions are described by new equilibrium constants independent of salinity and composition of brines.

Our results show that the simulated zeta potential which is obtained from our SCM at a broad range of salinities is successfully matched with the published experimental data for two different carbonate rock samples as long as the salinity dependence of the hydration diameter and electrical permittivity is accounted for. We find that the potential determining ions (Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42-, HCO3-,CO32-) play a dominating role compared to the indifferent ions (Na+, Cl-) in the calcite-brine surface reactions. The Implications of our findings are significant for wettability evaluation, characterisation of shallow and deep aquifers and CO2 geological sequestration.

How to cite: Hidayat, M., Vinogradov, J., Iglauer, S., and Sarmadivaleh, M.: Evolution of Modelling Zeta Potential: Impact of Brine Compositions and Concentration, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20857, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20857, 2020.

D1193 |
Shuai Li and Matthew Jackson

In this study, zeta potential has been measured by using the streaming potential method for the intact sandstone in contact with CaCl2 electrolytes. The experimental results show that a positive zeta potential has been observed for the first time for the intact Fontainebleau sandstone under high salinity of CaCl2, and its magnitude increases with increasing ionic strength. It cannot be explained by the Gouy-Chapman theory anticipating a constant potential for high salinities due to the collapse of the electrical double layer. Meanwhile, the brine effluents after the completion of the streaming potential measurements were collected and then pH and brine composition were analysed suggesting that those variations of pH and chemical composition are negligible and cannot explain the polarity change at high salinity. The anomalous positive potential of the intact Fontainebleau sandstone is due to that overcharge of calcium ions sorbed into the mineral surface, which is consistence with previous literature data.

How to cite: Li, S. and Jackson, M.: Critical role of the structure of the mineral-water interface in the zeta potential measured by streaming potential method, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22077, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22077, 2020.

D1194 |
Damien Jougnot and Santiago Solazzi

Seismoelectric signals result from an electrokinetic coupling phenomena that can be modeled through two approaches: the coupling coefficient or the effective excess charge density. The traditional approach is based on the frequency dependent coupling coefficient that can relate differences in pressure to differences in electrical potential. The second approach is more recent and is related to the description of the excess charge that is effectively dragged by the pore water displacement relatively to the mineral surface. In this contribution, we propose a new model to obtain the frequency dependent effective excess charge density. The electrokinetic coupling is mechanistically up-scaled considering the pore as a straight capillary. This approach, called flux-averaging, takes into account the inertial term of the Navier-Stokes equation to explain both the dynamic permeability and the effective excess charge density dependence with oscillation frequency. The frequency dependent coupling coefficient can then be calculated from this result. The model results are then successfully compared to previous models and published data. This work is a first step to predict seismoelectric electrokinetic coupling in much more complicated porous media in saturated and partially saturated conditions.

How to cite: Jougnot, D. and Solazzi, S.: Modeling the seismoelectric electrokinetic coupling: a new approach to up-scale the frequency-dependent effective excess charge density, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16880, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16880, 2020.

D1195 |
Simón Lissa, Nicolás D. Barbosa, Eva Caspari, Yury Alkhimenkov, and Beatriz Quintal

We numerically study the effects that roughness in the walls of cracks has on the P-wave modulus dispersion and attenuation due to squirt flow. We emulate the deformation caused by a seismic P-wave by applying an oscillatory relaxation test on numerical rock models having two perpendicular fluid-filled cracks interconnected and embedded in a cubic elastic background. The deformation caused by the P-wave induces a fluid pressure gradient and then, during the consequent fluid pressure diffusion process, the friction between fluid particles dissipate seismic wave energy. In this work, we consider P-wave deformation normal to one of the cracks. We first consider binary aperture distribution for the cracks to analyse where the energy dissipation process takes place. Then, more complex geometries for the roughness of the walls are also considered. In both cases, the cracks have finite length and square-shape and no contact areas between the walls of the cracks were allowed to occur. We show that the arithmetic mean of the apertures controls the P-wave modulus magnitudes at the low- and high-frequency limits. Additionally, two attenuation peaks and modulus dispersion regimes may occur associated with squirt flow. In general, at low-frequencies, the energy dissipation tends to happen inside the minimum aperture of the cracks, and consequently, the minimum aperture determines the frequency at which the low-frequency attenuation peak occurs. For the considered models, we observed that when the percentage of minimum aperture in the cracks is lower than 10$\%$, a second attenuation peak at high frequencies become dominant. The characteristic frequency of this attenuation process is controlled by an effective hydraulic aperture. Finally, we simulate an increase in confining pressure by reducing the crack apertures by a constant value, allowing for contact areas occurrence. In this scenario, the stiffness of the cracks can not longer be explained with the arithmetic mean of the aperture, as the stiffening effect of the distribution of the contact areas plays a much stronger role. In general, from the analysis of the local energy dissipation, different apertures seem to control the energy dissipation process at each frequency, which means that a frequency-dependent hydraulic aperture might be needed to describe the squirt flow process in cracks with rough walls.

How to cite: Lissa, S., Barbosa, N. D., Caspari, E., Alkhimenkov, Y., and Quintal, B.: Seismic attenuation and velocity dispersion due to squirt flow in cracks with rough walls, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1424, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1424, 2020.

D1196 |
Edith Sotelo Gamboa, Santiago G. Solazzi, German J. Rubino, Nicolas D. Barbosa, and Klaus Holliger

The presence of fractures has a predominant influence on the hydraulic and mechanical behavior of rocks. These effects are particularly pronounced and relevant for otherwise largely impermeable and stiff formations. There is widespread evidence pointing to the ubiquitous presence of damaged zones surrounding fractures and faults. The enhanced permeability associated with these zones can promote fluid pressure diffusion in the vicinity of fractures when seismic waves travel through the corresponding subsurface volume. This process, together with the inherent mechanical weakness of damaged zones, is expected to affect the seismic reflectivity of fractures and faults. We investigate these effects based on Biot’s theory of poroelasticity. To this end, we consider a 1D layered representation of the fracture and the associated damaged zone in conjunction with embedding elastic and impermeable half-spaces. We compare a fully elastic fracture-background reference model with a model consisting of a poroelastic fracture and damaged zone enclosed within an elastic background. For these two models, we compute the normal incidence seismic P-wave reflectivities at the background-fracture and at background-damaged zone interfaces, respectively. We also include a model that represents the fracture-damaged zone poroelastic system as an equivalent viscoelastic layer. We aim to test the validity of this representation since it would imply that a similar correspondence is possible to establish when more realistic descriptions of the damaged zone are considered. For this additional model, the viscoelastic layer is characterized by its frequency-dependent P-wave modulus, estimated by applying White’s classical upscaling procedure for 1D poroelastic media composed of alternating layers. We test the validity of the elastic-viscolastic model by comparing its reflectivity against the corresponding results from the elastic-poroelastic model. In doing so, we find that the simplified elastic-viscoelastic model faithfully reproduces the reflectivity of its elastic-poroelastic counterpart up to a threshold frequency, at which resonances produced within the viscoelastic layer become dominant. Overall, our results show that, in the seismic frequency range, there is a substantial increase in seismic fracture reflectivity resulting from the combined effects of fluid pressure diffusion and mechanical weakening associated with the surrounding damaged zone. This, in turn, indicates that the seismic reflectivity of a fracture may indeed be dominated by the thickness and physical properties of its surrounding damaged zone rather than by the properties of the fracture sensu stricto.

How to cite: Sotelo Gamboa, E., Solazzi, S. G., Rubino, G. J., Barbosa, N. D., and Holliger, K.: Poroelastic effects of the damaged zone on seismic fracture reflectivity, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2902, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2902, 2020.

D1197 |
Gabriel Quiroga, J. Germán Rubino, Santiago Solazzi, Nicolás Barbosa, and Klaus Holliger

The use of passive seismic techniques to monitor geothermal reservoirs allows to assess the risks associated with their exploitation and stimulation. One key characteristic of geothermal reservoirs is the degree of fracture connectivity and its evolution. The reason for this is that changes in the interconnectivity of the prevailing fractures affect the permeability and, thus, the productivity of the system. An increasing number of studies indicates that the Rayleigh wave velocity can be sensitive to changes in the mechanical and hydraulic properties of geothermal reservoirs. In this work, we explore the effects of fracture connectivity on Rayleigh wave velocity dispersion accounting for wave-induced fluid pressure diffusion effects. To this end, we consider a 1D layered model consisting of a surficial sandstone formation overlying a fractured and water-saturated granitic layer, which, in turn, is underlain by a compact granitic half-space. For the stochastic fracture network prevailing in the upper granitic layer, we consider varying levels of fracture connectivity, ranging from entirely unconnected to fully interconnected. We use an upscaling approach based on Biot’s poroelasticity theory to determine the effective properties associated with these scenarios. This procedure allows to obtain the frequency-dependent seismic body wave velocities accounting for fluid pressure diffusion effects. Finally, using these parameters, we compute the corresponding Rayleigh wave velocity dispersion. Our results show that Rayleigh wave phase and group velocities exhibit a significant sensitivity to the degree of fracture connectivity, which is mainly due to a reduction of the stiffening effect of the fluid residing in connected fractures in response to wave-induced fluid pressure diffusion. This suggests that time-lapse observations of Rayleigh wave velocity changes, which so far are commonly associated with changes in the fracture density, could also be related to changes in the interconnectivity of pre-existing fractures.

How to cite: Quiroga, G., Rubino, J. G., Solazzi, S., Barbosa, N., and Holliger, K.: Effects of fracture connectivity on Rayleigh wave velocity dispersion, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14762, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14762, 2020.

D1198 |
Céline Mallet, Clara Jodry, Gautier Laurent, and Mohamed Azaroual

The O-ZNS observatory offers a unique geophysical support for characterization, at different scales (from nano- to metric scales) of the heterogeneous Beauce Limestones aquifer. Currently under development at an agricultural site in Villamblain (Centre Val de Loire, France), this observatory is based on an exceptional well (20 m-depth and 4 m-diameter) associated with many external boreholes on an area of around 2 400 m2. It will combine different geophysical techniques and innovative multi-geosciences sensors to image, monitor and understand fluid and heat transfers in the heterogeneous structure of the vadoze zone.

An initial geophysical characterization has been conducted with surface measurements (3D electrical resistivity imaging and 2D Magnetic Resonance Sounding) that gave interesting information on the lithology of O-ZNS site: a silty-clayed soil of a few meter thick, then a highly heterogeneous and karstified limestone and finally, the massive fractured limestone. Cross-hole radar measurements add to these information a description of the initial zone, the soil properties and the water content. Also, data from three boreholes and the collection of core samples as well as logging measurements completed and improved this initial characterization.

All these data have been used to develop a finite element numerical model representing both the study site and the well under Plaxis 2D. Through the realism of geotechnical engineering including deformation, stability and water flow, the idea, is to anticipate the effect of the digging and provide information about the induced damaged zone that will derive. We also look into describing the evolution of this damaged zone depending on the seasoning variation (i.e. from 3 to 5 m) of the groundwater level. All these characterizations will allow us to better focus our field geophysical investigations on monitoring the damaged zone.

The model consists of a description of the different soil layers from the boreholes that includes elastic, microstructural and transport properties, followed by a description of the interface between the soil and the well. The hydraulic conditions will take into account the time-variability of fluxes and the aquifer level. Furthermore, this model is coupled with the construction phasing from a civil engineering point of view. The results will give the evolution of stress and strain induced by the engineering development of O-ZNS well in the host rock as well as an estimate of the material displacement and its elasticity limits. The preliminary modelling generated a result stipulating a damaged zone of 1-2 m around the well at the surface. The magnitude of the damaged zone is reduced with depth. It seems that, at the bottom, the host rock is undamaged.

Undergoing development are focused on refining the model by providing more effective and updated estimations of the soil and structure properties in order to validate or improve the first results together with an estimation of the time evolution of the damaged zone with the water saturation state. Afterward, we will be able to compare and validate these results to pictures and measurements performed during the digging that will start in the spring 2020.

How to cite: Mallet, C., Jodry, C., Laurent, G., and Azaroual, M.: Geophysical estimation of the damage induced by an observatory digging in a limestone heterogeneous vadose zone – Beauce aquifer (France), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2411, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2411, 2020.

D1199 |
Jerome Fortin, Cedric Bailly, Mathilde Adelinet, and Youri Hamon

Linking ultrasonic measurements made on samples, with sonic logs and seismic subsurface data, is a key challenge for the understanding of carbonate reservoirs. To deal with this problem, we investigate the elastic properties of dry lacustrine carbonates. At one study site, we perform a seismic refraction survey (100 Hz), as well as sonic (54 kHz) and ultrasonic (250 kHz) measurements directly on outcrop and ultrasonic measurements on samples (500 kHz). By comparing the median of each data set, we show that the P wave velocity decreases from laboratory to seismic scale. Nevertheless, the median of the sonic measurements acquired on outcrop surfaces seems to fit with the seismic data, meaning that sonic acquisition may be representative of seismic scale. To explain the variations due to upscaling, we relate the concept of representative elementary volume with the wavelength of each scale of study. Indeed, with upscaling, the wavelength varies from millimetric to pluri-metric. This change of scale allows us to conclude that the behavior of P wave velocity is due to different geological features (matrix porosity, cracks, and fractures) related to the different wavelengths used. Based on effective medium theory, we quantify the pore aspect ratio at sample scale and the crack/fracture density at outcrop and seismic scales using a multiscale representative elementary volume concept. Results show that the matrix porosity that controls the ultrasonic P wave velocities is progressively lost with upscaling, implying that crack and fracture porosity impacts sonic and seismic P wave velocities, a result of paramount importance for seismic interpretation based on deterministic approaches.

Bailly, C., Fortin, J., Adelinet, M., & Hamon, Y. (2019). Upscaling of elastic properties in carbonates: A modeling approach based on a multiscale geophysical data set. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JB018391

How to cite: Fortin, J., Bailly, C., Adelinet, M., and Hamon, Y.: Upscaling of elastic properties in carbonates: A modeling approach based on a multiscale geophysical data set, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18106, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18106, 2020.

D1200 |
Ariel Gallagher

Elastic waves are commonly studied in geophysics. They are used for example for prospecting, to follow the exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs, to study the effect of fluid injection (CO2 storage)… However, the wave frequencies used in the field (sonic – seismic measurements) are not the same as the ones commonly used in the laboratory (ultrasonic measurements), and fluid-saturated rocks are known to be dispersive, i.e the P- and S- wave velocity in fluid-saturated rock change with frequency. The comparison between field and laboratory measurements is therefore not straightforward.

In the ENS facilities, it is possible to subject samples, under pressure (1 to 30 MPa) to forced - oscillations varying from 0.01 Hz to 1 kHz (field frequencies) and 1 MHz (ultrasonic frequencies) using a triaxial cell. Axial and radial strain gauges are installed to record the resulting strains on the sample. Forced-oscillation can be done on 1) confining pressure to get the bulk modulus as function of frequency or on 2) axial stress to get the Young modulus and Poisson ratio as function of frequency.  With this information, it is thus possible to deduce the P- and S- wave velocities with frequency.

The elastic properties were measured on different samples from the Libra oil field, for which logging measurements are available. Thus, the measurements obtained in the laboratory can be compared to the measurements in the field at the same frequency. In addition, the evolution of the velocity with frequency measured in the laboratory allows us to discuss the mechanisms at the origin of the dispersion.  

How to cite: Gallagher, A.: Comparison of the elastic properties of reservoir rocks in the field and the laboratory: link between seismic, sonic and ultrasonic measurements, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1335, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1335, 2020.

D1201 |
Lucille Carbillet, Michael J. Heap, Fabian B. Wadsworth, Patrick Baud, and Thierry Reuschlé

Field observations and laboratory experiments have demonstrated strain localisation can develop in porous rocks in response to an applied stress field. Shear fractures and compaction bands are strain localisation features that can form at relatively low confinement during brittle deformation and at higher confinement during shear-enhanced compaction, respectively. Previous experimental studies suggested that the formation and geometry of compaction bands also depends on the microstructural attributes of the rock.

We investigated the influence of microstructure on compaction localisation in porous rocks using sintered glass bead samples, which allowed for a tight control on grain size and shape and sample porosity. During the fabrication process, populations of solid glass microspheres of predetermined size and size distribution are heated above their glass transition temperature. Above this temperature, the glass beads act as viscous liquid droplets. Time-dependent coalescence of droplets that share contact then causes the bead-pack to evolve into a connected system, producing a porous granular material of known microstructural geometries and final porosity.

We previously conducted hydrostatic compaction and triaxial compression tests on synthetic samples of porosity ranging from 10 to 38% with a monodisperse grainsize (diameter ranging from 0.15 to 1.3 mm). Experimental results showed remarkable reproducibility for the same experimental conditions and concurrence with the phenomenology of mechanical behaviour of natural sandstones. After these validation tests, we conducted systematic experiments on monodisperse synthetic samples of 25 and 35% of porosity prepared using glass beads of mean diameter 0.25, 0.525 and 1.15 mm. Triaxial deformation tests were conducted on water-saturated samples, in drained conditions (with a fixed pore pressure of 10 MPa), at room temperature, at a constant strain-rate and at effective pressures corresponding to the regime of formation of compaction bands. Our mechanical data provide indirect evidence for compaction localisation. We have focused our attention on the influence of porosity and grain size on the formation and microstructural attributes (such as thickness, length and tortuosity) of the compaction bands.

How to cite: Carbillet, L., Heap, M. J., Wadsworth, F. B., Baud, P., and Reuschlé, T.: Microstructural control on compaction localisation in granular materials, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2697, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2697, 2020.

D1202 |
Philipp Eichheimer, Marcel Thielmann, Wakana Fujita, Gregor J. Golabek, Michihiko Nakamura, Satoshi Okumura, Takayuki Nakatani, and Maximilian O. Kottwitz

Fluid flow on different scales is of interest for several Earth science disciplines like petrophysics, hydrogeology and volcanology. To parameterize fluid flow in large-scale numerical simulations (e.g. groundwater and volcanic systems), flow properties on the microscale need to be considered. For this purpose experimental and numerical investigations of flow through porous media over a wide range of porosities are necessary. In the present study we sinter glass bead media with various porosities, representing shallow depth crustal sediments. The microstructure, namely effective porosity and effective specific surface, is investigated using image processing. We furthermore determine flow properties like hydraulic tortuosity and permeability using both experimental measurements and numerical simulations. By fitting microstructural and flow properties to porosity, we obtain a modified Kozeny-Carman equation for isotropic low-porosity media, that can be used to simulate permeability in large-scale numerical models. To verify the modified Kozeny-Carman equation we compare it to the numerically computed and experimentally measured permeability values.

How to cite: Eichheimer, P., Thielmann, M., Fujita, W., Golabek, G. J., Nakamura, M., Okumura, S., Nakatani, T., and Kottwitz, M. O.: Combined numerical and experimental study of microstructure and permeability in porous granular media, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2992, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2992, 2020.

D1203 |
Junliang Zhao, Wei Zhang, and Dongxiao Zhang

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and helium ion microscopy (HIM) are two of the fundamental tools in the study of the microstructures of shale. A comprehensive comparison of these two techniques in the application of organic pore structure characterization is presented in this work. Owing to the small wavelength of the helium ion, the spot size of the ion beam is not restricted by diffraction aberration, and the convergence angle of helium ion beam can be much smaller than of the electron beam. The microscopic images and reconstruction models indicate that HIM has higher spatial resolution and increased depth of field than SEM. The pores below 10 nm and inner structures of pore networks can be observed via HIM images. The advantages shown in the focused ion beam/helium ion microscopy (FIB/HIM) results are similar to the 2-D HIM images. Smaller pores whose size is beyond the resolution of focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM) can be found, which suggests the connection possibility of the big pores. However, to get reliable pictures, the ion-induced damage on organic matters should be avoided. To lower the beam current and to shorten the dwell time are two effective ways to reduce the beam damage.

How to cite: Zhao, J., Zhang, W., and Zhang, D.: Organic pore structure characterization of shale: a comparison between scanning electron microscopy and helium ion microscopy, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12191, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12191, 2020.

D1204 |
Laura L. Schepp, Benedikt Ahrens, Martin Balcewicz, Mandy Duda, Mathias Nehler, Maria Osorno, David Uribe, Holger Steeb, Benoit Nigon, Ferdinand Stöckhert, Donald A. Swanson, Mirko Siegert, Marcel Gurris, and Erik H. Saenger

Microtomographic imaging techniques and advanced numerical simulations are combined by digital rock physics (DRP) to obtain effective physical material properties. The numerical results are typically used to complement laboratory investigations with the aim to gain a deeper understanding of physical processes related to transport (e.g. permeability and thermal conductivity) and effective elastic properties (e.g. bulk and shear modulus). The present study focuses on DRP and laboratory techniques applied to a rock called reticulite, which is considered as an end-member material with respect to porosity, stiffness and brittleness of the skeleton. Classical laboratory investigations on effective properties, such as ultrasonic transmission measurements and uniaxial deformation experiments, are very difficult to perform on this class of high-porosity and brittle materials.

Reticulite is a pyroclastic rock formed during intense Hawaiian fountaining events. The open honeycombed network has a porosity of more than 80 % and consists of bubbles that are supported by glassy threads. The natural mineral has a strong analogy to fabricated open-cell foams. By comparing experimental with numerical results and theoretical estimates we demonstrate the potential of digital material methodology with respect to the investigation of porosity, effective elastic properties, thermal conductivity and permeability

We show that the digital rock physics workflow, previously applied to conventional rock types, yields reasonable results for a high-porosity rock and can be adopted for fabricated foam-like materials. Numerically determined effective properties of reticulite are in good agreement with the experimentally determined results. Depending on the fields of application, numerical methods as well as theoretical estimates can become reasonable alternatives to laboratory methods for high porous foam-like materials.

How to cite: Schepp, L. L., Ahrens, B., Balcewicz, M., Duda, M., Nehler, M., Osorno, M., Uribe, D., Steeb, H., Nigon, B., Stöckhert, F., Swanson, D. A., Siegert, M., Gurris, M., and Saenger, E. H.: Digital rock physics and laboratory considerations on a high-porosity volcanic rock, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6706, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6706, 2020.

D1205 |
Yi Zhou, Michele Pugnetti, Anneleen Foubert, Christoph Neururer, and Andrea R. Biedermann

Pore fabrics characterize pore geometry and network in rocks. The pore size, connectivity and elongation direction determine the permeation ability and preferred permeation direction. X-ray micro-tomography (XRCT) is a widely used technique to visualize the inner structure of rock samples. Based on XRCT data, digital rock models can be generated and analyzed to visualize and quantify pore shape distribution, pore sizes and the connectivity of pores. To measure the magnetic pore fabric (MPF), samples are impregnated with ferrofluid prior to measuring anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility. This technique could be complementary to existing techniques to capture smaller pores. Empirical relationships exist between pore fabric or permeability anisotropy and MPF, and the aim of this study is to quantitatively test these relationships. In this study, Upper Marine Molasse sandstone (OMM, Belpberg, Switzerland) with 10-20% porosity and relatively homogeneous pore structure, and Plio-Pleistocene calcarenite (Apulia, Italy) with ~50% porosity and complex pore structure, are tested. To understand the pore networks of these rock types, an integrated approach has been applied including standard pycnometer porosity measurements, MPFs, XRCT, and porosity and permeability simulations based on XRCT analyses. The average equivalent diameter of pores based on micro-CT is ~150 μm for the Molasse sandstone, and ~300 μm for calcarenite. XRCT data indicate preferential alignment of the long axes of the pores, and both MPFs and simulated permeabilities are anisotropic in these samples. For calcarenite with large pores, the direction of the maximum magnetic susceptibility coincides with the direction of the maximum grouping of long pore axes. Simulated permeability is affected by other factors in addition to the grouping of long pore axes, including porosity, pore size, connectivity and tortuosity of pores. Therefore, the next step of this study will compare laboratory-measured directional permeabilities with permeability simulations and with MPFs, to investigate their potential for predicting the preferred fluid flow direction in these samples. For the full understanding of MPFs, more types of sedimentary rocks will be analyzed. If MPFs prove a good and quantitative proxy for pore fabric characterization in hydrocarbon and geothermal studies, more measurements can be made in the future, making it possible to investigate regional-scale variations.

How to cite: Zhou, Y., Pugnetti, M., Foubert, A., Neururer, C., and R. Biedermann, A.: Comparison of pore fabric based on high-resolution X-ray computed tomography and magnetic pore fabric in sedimentary rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3888, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3888, 2020.

D1206 |
Abraão Nova, Frederico Ribeiro, Pamalla Oliveira, Daniel Amancio, Cássia Machado, Alexandra Carolina, Marcio Paixão, Antonio Antonino, Enivaldo Barbosa, Antônio Barbosa, Maria Lourenço, Marcos Rodrigues, and Richard Heck

During the last few decades, X-ray micro-computed tomography (µCT) has been largely used to characterize rock properties and to create high-resolution 3D digital image volumes. It has allowed access to important information about porous systems in reservoir rocks. However, the reliable quantification of porosity of rocks which present porous volumes ranging from centimeter to nanometer scale remains a challenge. Assessment of nano scale porous volume is very difficult by image segmentation techniques, due to the intrinsic limits of the x-ray imaging method. Moreover, image processing for analysis of various types of porosity in the same sample, including microporosity could be computationally expensive. We present a method based in the Gamma-Ray computed tomography (axis attenuation) that can substantially improve the limits presented by conventional X-ray microtomography. This study compared the porosity values acquired by typical segmentation methods for microtomography images, and by the values obtained trough the proposed method of gamma-ray computed tomography to calculate the porosity. Results of both approaches were compared to porosity measurements obtained through experimental equipment (helium porosimeter). These analyses were performed in core samples of limestones and sandstones analogous of Brazilian oil reservoirs. The Gamma Ray Attenuation method (axis attenuation) presented a better correlation (R² = 0.9588) to the experimental measurements when compared to the image segmentation methods (R² = 0.9194). The results suggest that Industrial application of gamma ray tomography for precise evaluation of large number of core samples can be highly effective. Furthermore, the gamma ray data can be integrated with data provided by conventional µCT image processing to complement information regarding morphological aspects.

Keywords: Porous System, X-ray microtomography, Gamma Ray tomography,  Reservoir rocks

How to cite: Nova, A., Ribeiro, F., Oliveira, P., Amancio, D., Machado, C., Carolina, A., Paixão, M., Antonino, A., Barbosa, E., Barbosa, A., Lourenço, M., Rodrigues, M., and Heck, R.: Using Gamma-Ray and X-Ray Computed Tomography for Porosity Quantification of Reservoir Analogue Rocks, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17144, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17144, 2020.