Dynamic analysis of geomaterials using microwave sensing

Jamie Blanche*, Daniel Mitchell, Junlong Shang, David Flynn, Sumanth Pavuluri, Marc Desmulliez

*Corresponding author for this work

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Precise characterization of geomaterials improves subsurface energy extraction and storage. Understanding geomaterial property, and the complexities between petrophysics and geomechanics, plays a key role in maintaining energy security and the transition to a net zero global carbon economy. Multiple sectors demand accurate and rapid characterization of geomaterial conditions, requiring the extraction of core plugs in the field for full-field characterization and analysis in the laboratory. We present a novel technique for the non-invasive characterization of geomaterials by using Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar in the K-band, representing a new application of microwave radar. We collect data through the delivery of FMCW wave interactions with geomaterials under static and dynamic conditions and show that FMCW can detect fluid presence, differentiate fluid type, indicate the presence of metallic inclusions and detect imminent failure in loaded sandstones by up to 15 s, allowing for greater control in loading up to a failure event. Such precursors have the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of, and ability to model, geomaterial dynamics. This low-cost sensing method is easily deployable, provides quicker and more accessible data than many state-of-the-art systems, and new insights into geomaterial behavior under dynamic conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7112
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2024


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