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Title: Strain Measurement of Geological Samples Subjected to Triaxial Stresses Experienced During Hydraulic Loading

Understanding stress and strain relationships and having the ability to predict these quantities for known load conditions is crucial to all geomechanical and, in some instances, reservoir flow applications. The constitutive equations governing the deformation of geological materials are typically adequate for bulk or large scale deformation and stress analyses. However, these rules are generally less precise in their ability to make accurate predictions in physical processes where highly localized material heterogeneity exists or where the presence of geometric irregularities such as micro-cracks may be present. This is especially relevant to EGS where hydraulic fracture propagation models are needed to develop optimal reservoir creation strategies and where fracture permeability is significantly influenced by regional stress states and may affect reservoir operation strategies. The deficiencies of the models used to describe these physical processes are a practical reality necessitated by the manner in which rock properties must be obtained. Conventional rock mechanics tests subject samples to controlled load conditions and measure bulk deformations of the sample or more localized deformations only on exposed surfaces of the sample. They are currently unable to comprehensively map the deformation state within the sample. For processes such as fracture, however, the state of a particularmore » region within the rock drives the overall failure behavior of the sample. The authors believe that possessing a means to measure strains within samples subjected to hydraulic fracture loading conditions will provide a useful tool for understanding the localized effects not captured by conventional techniques and may serve as a method for improving hydraulic fracture models. An ongoing effort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory endeavors to develop a neutron diffraction based strain measurement capability to interrogate the strain state of a geological sample, at arbitrary internal locations, subjected to a triaxial stress state. The basis of the method and initial results for simple load conditions were reported at last year s Stanford Geothermal Workshop. This work will report results from recent neutron diffraction strain measurement experiments in which marble samples were subjected to load conditions more representative of hydraulic fracturing operations within a pressure cell specially designed for the reported strain measurement technique.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. {Larry} M [ORNL
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Conference: Stanford Geothermal Workshop, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 20140224, 20140226
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Spallation Neutron Source
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States