skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: QUANTIFYING THE MICROMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF VARIABLE CEMENT IN GRANULAR POROUS MEDIA

Abstract

The mechanical and hydrologic behavior of clastic rocks and sediments is fundamentally controlled by variables such as grain size and shape, sorting, grain and cement mineralogy, porosity, and %cement - parameters that are not used directly in field-scale models of coupled flow and deformation. To improve our understanding of the relationship between these micromechanical properties and bulk behavior we focused on (1) relating detailed, quantitative characterization of the grain-pore systems to both hydrologic and mechanical properties of a suite of variably quartz-cemented quartz arenite samples and (2) the use of a combination of discrete element method (DEM) and poroelastic models parameterized by data from the natural samples to isolate and compare the influence of changes in the mechanical and hydrologic properties of granular porous media due to changes in degree of cementation. Quartz overgrowths, the most common form of authigenic cements in sandstones, are responsible for significant porosity and permeability reduction. The distribution of quartz overgrowths is controlled by available pore space and the crystallographic orientations of individual quartz grains. Study of the St. Peter Sandstone allowed evaluation of the relative effects of quartz cementation and compaction on final grain and pore morphology, showing that progressive quartz cementation modifies themore » grain framework in consistent, predictable ways. Detailed microstructural characterization and multiple regression analyses show that with progressive diagenesis, the number and length of grain contacts increases as the number of pores increases, the number of large, well-connected pores decreases, and pores become rounder. These changes cause a decrease in pore size variability that leads to a decrease in bulk permeability and both stiffening and strengthening of the grain framework. The consistent nature of these changes allows us to predict variations in hydrologic and mechanical properties with progressive diagenesis, and explore the impact of these changes on aquifer behavior. Several examples of this predictive capability are offered. In one application, data from natural sandstones are used to calibrate the proportionality constant of the Kozeny- Carman relationship, improving the ability to predict permeability in quartz-cemented quartz arenites. In another, the bond-to-grain ratio (BGR) is used to parameterize a discrete element model with data acquired from sandstone samples. The DEM results provide input to poroelastic models used to explore the hydrologic, mechanical, and coupled hydrologic and mechanical response of the sandstone to pumping stresses. This modeling exercise shows that at the macroscale, changes in mechanical and hydrologic properties directly influence the magnitude and area of aquifer deformation. The significant difference in sensitivity of the system to the mechanical properties alone versus its sensitivity to coupled mechanical and hydrologic properties demonstrates the importance of including hydrologic properties that are adjusted for changes in cementation in fluid storage and deformation studies. The large magnitude of radial deformation compared to vertical deformation in these models emphasizes the importance of considering three dimensional deformation in fluid flow and deformation studies.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1062084
Report Number(s):
05ER15740-1
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-05ER15740
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; diagenesis; sandstone; porosity; permeability; elastic moduli; compressive strength; tensile strength; DEM modeling; poroelastic modeling; ultrasonic velocity

Citation Formats

Boutt, David F, and Goodwin, Laurel B. QUANTIFYING THE MICROMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF VARIABLE CEMENT IN GRANULAR POROUS MEDIA. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Boutt, David F, & Goodwin, Laurel B. QUANTIFYING THE MICROMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF VARIABLE CEMENT IN GRANULAR POROUS MEDIA. United States.
Boutt, David F, and Goodwin, Laurel B. Mon . "QUANTIFYING THE MICROMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF VARIABLE CEMENT IN GRANULAR POROUS MEDIA". United States.
@article{osti_1062084,
title = {QUANTIFYING THE MICROMECHANICAL EFFECTS OF VARIABLE CEMENT IN GRANULAR POROUS MEDIA},
author = {Boutt, David F and Goodwin, Laurel B},
abstractNote = {The mechanical and hydrologic behavior of clastic rocks and sediments is fundamentally controlled by variables such as grain size and shape, sorting, grain and cement mineralogy, porosity, and %cement - parameters that are not used directly in field-scale models of coupled flow and deformation. To improve our understanding of the relationship between these micromechanical properties and bulk behavior we focused on (1) relating detailed, quantitative characterization of the grain-pore systems to both hydrologic and mechanical properties of a suite of variably quartz-cemented quartz arenite samples and (2) the use of a combination of discrete element method (DEM) and poroelastic models parameterized by data from the natural samples to isolate and compare the influence of changes in the mechanical and hydrologic properties of granular porous media due to changes in degree of cementation. Quartz overgrowths, the most common form of authigenic cements in sandstones, are responsible for significant porosity and permeability reduction. The distribution of quartz overgrowths is controlled by available pore space and the crystallographic orientations of individual quartz grains. Study of the St. Peter Sandstone allowed evaluation of the relative effects of quartz cementation and compaction on final grain and pore morphology, showing that progressive quartz cementation modifies the grain framework in consistent, predictable ways. Detailed microstructural characterization and multiple regression analyses show that with progressive diagenesis, the number and length of grain contacts increases as the number of pores increases, the number of large, well-connected pores decreases, and pores become rounder. These changes cause a decrease in pore size variability that leads to a decrease in bulk permeability and both stiffening and strengthening of the grain framework. The consistent nature of these changes allows us to predict variations in hydrologic and mechanical properties with progressive diagenesis, and explore the impact of these changes on aquifer behavior. Several examples of this predictive capability are offered. In one application, data from natural sandstones are used to calibrate the proportionality constant of the Kozeny- Carman relationship, improving the ability to predict permeability in quartz-cemented quartz arenites. In another, the bond-to-grain ratio (BGR) is used to parameterize a discrete element model with data acquired from sandstone samples. The DEM results provide input to poroelastic models used to explore the hydrologic, mechanical, and coupled hydrologic and mechanical response of the sandstone to pumping stresses. This modeling exercise shows that at the macroscale, changes in mechanical and hydrologic properties directly influence the magnitude and area of aquifer deformation. The significant difference in sensitivity of the system to the mechanical properties alone versus its sensitivity to coupled mechanical and hydrologic properties demonstrates the importance of including hydrologic properties that are adjusted for changes in cementation in fluid storage and deformation studies. The large magnitude of radial deformation compared to vertical deformation in these models emphasizes the importance of considering three dimensional deformation in fluid flow and deformation studies.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {3}
}

Technical Report:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that may hold this item. Keep in mind that many technical reports are not cataloged in WorldCat.

Save / Share: