Bridging pore and macroscopic scale - Scanning SAXS-WAXS microscopy applied to shales

L. D. Leu, Apostolos Georgiadis, Martin J. Blunt, Andreas Busch, M. Liebi, A. Menzel, P. Bertier, K. Schweinar, H. Ott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The determination of fabric and pore structure of shales remains a challenging task which is mainly due to the wide range of pore sizes (and shapes) ranging from molecular dimensions to microns. High resolution imaging techniques fail to provide information over representative regions of interest, while more conventional characterization techniques may only assess volume averaged properties of the pore systems. Thus, open questions remain regarding the effects of the multi-scale pore network of shales in the retention and transport of hydrocarbons during unconventional production processes. We apply scanning small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS) microscopy to obtain averaged but detailed information from the micro- and meso-pore structures of shales. By combining SAXS/WAXS with raster-scanning microscopy, we obtain local scattering information from 1-100 nm-size pores in micrometer-size volumes over a large (2 x 2) mm2 scanning area. We derive porosity, pore size distribution and orientation, as well as mineralogy of specially prepared thin section samples, covering length scale ranges of nm to submicrons and from microns to millimeters, with a gap that can potentially be closed The method further enables the linking of porosity to shale matrix components, which is integrated in a multi-scale imaging workflow involving μCT, and SEM/EDX analysis, aimed at allowing for the full pore network characterization of shales.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th EAGE Shale Workshop
Subtitle of host publicationQuantifying Risks and Potential
PublisherEAGE Publishing BV
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781510822887
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2016
Event5th EAGE Shale Workshop: Quantifying Risks and Potential - Catania, Italy
Duration: 2 May 20164 May 2016


Conference5th EAGE Shale Workshop: Quantifying Risks and Potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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