Connecting microstructural attributes and permeability from 3D tomographic images of in situ shear-enhanced compaction bands using multiscale computations

Waiching Sun*, José E. Andrade, John W. Rudnicki, Peter Eichhubl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tomographic images taken inside and outside a compaction band in a field specimen of Aztec sandstone are analyzed by using numerical methods such as graph theory, level sets, and hybrid lattice Boltzmann/finite element techniques. The results reveal approximately an order of magnitude permeability reduction within the compaction band. This is less than the several orders of magnitude reduction measured from hydraulic experiments on compaction bands formed in laboratory experiments and about one order of magnitude less than inferences from two-dimensional images of Aztec sandstone. Geometrical analysis concludes that the elimination of connected pore space and increased tortuosities due to the porosity decrease are the major factors contributing to the permeability reduction. In addition, the multiscale flow simulations also indicate that permeability is fairly isotropic inside and outside the compaction band.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL10302
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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