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Title: Seismic Absorption and Modulus Measurements in Porous Rocks in Lab and Field: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Effects of Fluids (Detecting a Biosurfactant Additive in a Field Irrigation Experiment)

Abstract

We have been exploring a new technology that is based on using low-frequency seismic attenuation data to monitor changes in fluid saturation conditions in two-fluid phase porous materials. The seismic attenuation mechanism is related to the loss of energy due to the hysteresis of resistance to meniscus movement (changes in surface tension, wettability) when a pore containing two fluids is stressed at very low frequencies (< 10 Hz). This technology has potential applications to monitoring changes in (1) leakage at buried waste sites, (2) contaminant remediation, and (3) flooding during enhanced petroleum recovery. We have concluded a three year field study at the Maricopa Agricultural Center site of the University of Arizona. Three sets of instruments were installed along an East-West line perpendicular to the 50m by 50m inigation site. Each set of instruments consisted of one three component seismometer and one tiltmeter. Microseisms and solid Earth-tides served as strain sources. The former have a power peak at a period of about 6 seconds and the tides have about two cycles per day. Installation of instruments commenced in late summer of 2002. The instruments operated nearly continuously until April 2005. During the fall of 2003 the site was irrigated withmore » water and one year later with water containing 150 ppm of a biosurfactant additive. This biodegradable additive served to mimic a class of contaminants that change the surface tension of the inigation fluid. Tilt data clearly show tidal tilts superimposed on local tilts due to agricultural irrigation and field work. When the observed signals were correlated with site specific theoretical tilt signals we saw no anomalies for the water irrigation in 2003, but large anomalies on two stations for the surfactant irrigation in 2004. Occasional failures of seismometers as well as data acquisition systems contributed to less than continuous coverage. These data are noisier than the tilt data, but do also show possible anomalies for the irrigation with the surfactant. The quantity of data is large and deserves careful analysis. Detailed analyses of the two data sets are ongoing.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Colorado
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1010627
Report Number(s):
DOE/04ER15589- Final Report
TRN: US201109%%703
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-04ER15589
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; ABSORPTION; ADDITIVES; ARIZONA; ATTENUATION; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; DATA ACQUISITION SYSTEMS; HYSTERESIS; IRRIGATION; MONITORING; MONITORS; PETROLEUM; POROUS MATERIALS; SATURATION; STRAINS; SURFACE TENSION; SURFACTANTS; WASTES; WATER; WETTABILITY

Citation Formats

Spetzler, Hartmut. Seismic Absorption and Modulus Measurements in Porous Rocks in Lab and Field: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Effects of Fluids (Detecting a Biosurfactant Additive in a Field Irrigation Experiment). United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/1010627.
Spetzler, Hartmut. Seismic Absorption and Modulus Measurements in Porous Rocks in Lab and Field: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Effects of Fluids (Detecting a Biosurfactant Additive in a Field Irrigation Experiment). United States. doi:10.2172/1010627.
Spetzler, Hartmut. Mon . "Seismic Absorption and Modulus Measurements in Porous Rocks in Lab and Field: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Effects of Fluids (Detecting a Biosurfactant Additive in a Field Irrigation Experiment)". United States. doi:10.2172/1010627. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1010627.
@article{osti_1010627,
title = {Seismic Absorption and Modulus Measurements in Porous Rocks in Lab and Field: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Effects of Fluids (Detecting a Biosurfactant Additive in a Field Irrigation Experiment)},
author = {Spetzler, Hartmut},
abstractNote = {We have been exploring a new technology that is based on using low-frequency seismic attenuation data to monitor changes in fluid saturation conditions in two-fluid phase porous materials. The seismic attenuation mechanism is related to the loss of energy due to the hysteresis of resistance to meniscus movement (changes in surface tension, wettability) when a pore containing two fluids is stressed at very low frequencies (< 10 Hz). This technology has potential applications to monitoring changes in (1) leakage at buried waste sites, (2) contaminant remediation, and (3) flooding during enhanced petroleum recovery. We have concluded a three year field study at the Maricopa Agricultural Center site of the University of Arizona. Three sets of instruments were installed along an East-West line perpendicular to the 50m by 50m inigation site. Each set of instruments consisted of one three component seismometer and one tiltmeter. Microseisms and solid Earth-tides served as strain sources. The former have a power peak at a period of about 6 seconds and the tides have about two cycles per day. Installation of instruments commenced in late summer of 2002. The instruments operated nearly continuously until April 2005. During the fall of 2003 the site was irrigated with water and one year later with water containing 150 ppm of a biosurfactant additive. This biodegradable additive served to mimic a class of contaminants that change the surface tension of the inigation fluid. Tilt data clearly show tidal tilts superimposed on local tilts due to agricultural irrigation and field work. When the observed signals were correlated with site specific theoretical tilt signals we saw no anomalies for the water irrigation in 2003, but large anomalies on two stations for the surfactant irrigation in 2004. Occasional failures of seismometers as well as data acquisition systems contributed to less than continuous coverage. These data are noisier than the tilt data, but do also show possible anomalies for the irrigation with the surfactant. The quantity of data is large and deserves careful analysis. Detailed analyses of the two data sets are ongoing.},
doi = {10.2172/1010627},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2006},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This paper describes the culmination of a research project in which we investigated the complex modulus change in partially fluid saturated porous rocks. The investigation started with simple flow experiments over ''clean'' and ''contaminated'' surfaces, progressed to moduli measurements on partially filled single cracks, to measurements in ''clean'' and ''contaminated'' porous rocks and finally to a feasibility study in the field. For the experiments with the simple geometries we were able to measure fundamental physical properties such as contact angles of the meniscus and time dependent forces required to get the meniscus moving and to keep it moving at variousmore » velocities. From the data thus gathered we were able to interpret the complex elastic moduli data we measured in the partially saturated single cracks. While the geometry in real rocks is too complex to make precise calculations we determined that we had indeed identified the mechanisms responsible for the changes in the moduli we had measured. Thus encouraged by the laboratory studies we embarked on a field experiment in the desert of Arizona. The field site allowed for controlled irrigation. Instrumentation for fluid sampling and water penetration were already in place. The porous loosely consolidated rocks at the site were not ideal for finding the effects of the attenuation mechanism we had identified in the lab, but for logistic and cost constraint reasons we chose to field test the idea at that site. Tiltmeters and seismometers were installed and operated nearly continuously for almost 3 years. The field was irrigated with water in the fall of 2003 and with water containing a biosurfactant in the fall of 2004. We have indications that the biosurfactant irrigation has had a notable effect on the tilt data.« less
  • The irrigation site located at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center was designed to support controlled irrigation through the use of evenly spaced drip tubing under a heavy black plastic tarp. Soil solution samplers (lysimeters) are placed at specific locations to collect water from 1.5 meters, 3.0 meters and 10 meters from the soil surface. Suction provided by a vacuum pump was applied to the lysimeters for three hours prior to collection. After this time, the soil solution, if any was collected and placed into 20 ml HDPE scintillation vials and stored at -15 C for later analysis. Thesemore » samples were analyzed for pH with a Ross Sure Flow Combination Electrode. Electrical conductivity for each sample was measured with the use of an Accumet Conductivity Cell. Both electrodes were connected to an Accumet Model 50 pH/ion/conductivity meter. High Performance Liquid Chromatography was employed in an attempt to determine the amount of Biosurfactant present in each sample. Our HPLC equipment includes a 5mm x 15mm CIS chromatography column, Waters 2487 detector, 510 pump, and WISP 710 Auto Injector. Millennium software was used to integrate data from these analyses.« less
  • The first 8 months have been used mainly to design and develop equipment. After carefully exploring various sensing technologies we have opted for measuring the minute displacements involved in the Q measurements by optical interferometry. The reason for this decision stems only partly from our prejudice (because of our experience) toward optics, but more importantly from the inherent calibration when using laser light of a known wavelength. We have further developed the optical parts and the electronics of our high precision interferometer, having reached the sensitivity needed for our measurements. In adapting this technology to a high pressure and highmore » temperature environment we explored the use of optical fibers and constructed a single mode fiber interferometer and introduced an optical fiber into a high-pressure environment. The interferometer functioned satisfactorily and the high-pressure feedthrough failed at 300 MPa, 3 times the value of the pressure at which we expect to do our measurements.« less
  • Physical phenomena in cracked and porous rocks with fluids was investigated, and the results applied to geophysical exploration, reservoir evaluation and the study of shallow crustal rocks. The properties studied include wave propagation, dielectric properties, network modeling, and nuclear magnetic resonance. (ACR)