From Micro to Meso: An exercise in determining hydraulic conductivity of fractured sandstone cores from detailed characterization of the fractures

Salima Baraka-Lokmane, Rudolf Liedl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Hydraulic conductivities of fractured sandstone bore cores of 0.1 m in diameter are calculated using detailed characterization of the fracture geometry parameters determined using a resin casting technique. The accuracy of the measurements was about 0.25-1.25 µm with the image size used. The values of the effective fracture apertures vary between 10 µm and 50 µm. For modelling purposes the samples are sectioned serially, perpendicular to the flow direction along the cylinder axis. The hydraulic conductivity of individual slices is estimated by summing the contribution of the matrix (assumed uniform) and each fracture (depending on its length and aperture). Finally, the hydraulic conductivity of the bulk sample is estimated by a harmonic average in series along the flow path. Results of this geometrical upscaling compare favourably with actual conductivity measured in hydraulic and pneumatic experiments carried out prior to sectioning. This study shows that the determination of larger-scale conductivity can be achieved, based on the evaluation of fracture geometry parameters (e.g. fracture aperture, fracture width and fracture length), measured using an optical method, at least at the laboratory scale. © 2006 The Authors Journal compilation © 2006 RAS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1440-1453
    Number of pages14
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    Volume166
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

    Keywords

    • Fracture geometry
    • Fractured sandstone
    • Gas permeability
    • Hydraulic conductivity
    • Liquid permeability

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