Compaction and clay content control mudrock porosity

Amirsaman Rezaeyan, Niko Kampman, Vitaliy Pipich, Lester C. Barnsley, Gernot Rother, Clayton Magill, Jingsheng Ma, Andreas Busch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Mudrocks, ubiquitous yet poorly understood sedimentary rocks with significant variations in composition and physical properties, form seals for geological carbon dioxide and energy (e.g., hydrogen and methane) storage, repositories for radioactive waste disposal, and reservoirs for natural gas. Understanding the controls on mudrock pore structure is essential for evaluating their porosity. The identification and quantification of controls depend on the nano-to micron scale pore network, which are the subject of this study. Small-angle (SANS) and very small-angle neutron scattering (VSANS) experiments were conducted on 13 diverse mudrock sets, characterised by differences in mineralogy, stratigraphy, maturity, and depositional environment. We performed multivariate statistics to systematically characterise the pore structure in 71 samples cross a 5 μm–2 nm pore size range. Our results indicate a multivariate approach more effectively captures the complex controls on porosity rather than single parameters. Compaction and clay content emerge as key primary and secondary controls on mudrock porosity, respectively, upon which we introduce a new porosity classification. Our complementary experimental-statistical assessment involving SANS-derived multiscale porosity sheds new light on the influence of structural controls on storage or production capacity in mudrocks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number129966
Early online date13 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • Mudrock
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Porosity
  • Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS)
  • Very small-angle neutron scattering (VSANS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Pollution
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation


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