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Title: Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions

Abstract

The physical and transport properties of porous rocks can be altered by a variety of diagenetic, metamorphic, and tectonic processes, and the changes that result are of critical importance to such industrial applications as resource recovery, carbon dioxide sequestration, and waste isolation in geologic formations. These inter-relationships between rocks, pore fluids, and deformation are also the key to understanding many natural processes, including: dynamic metamorphism, fault mechanics, fault stability, and pressure solution deformation. Here, we propose work to investigate the changes of permeability and pore geometry owing to inelastic deformation by solution-transfer, brittle fracturing, and dislocation creep. The work would study the relationship of deformation and permeability reduction in fluid-filled quartz and calcite rocks and investigate the effects of loading configuration on the evolution of porosity and permeability under hydrothermal conditions. We would use a combination of techniques, including laboratory experiments, numerical calculations, and observations of rock microstructure. The laboratory experiments provide mechanical and transport data under conditions that isolate each particular mechanism. Our apparatus are designed to provide simultaneous measurements of pore volume, permeability, axial and volumetric strain rates while being loaded under isostatic or conventional triaxial loading. Temperatures up to 1400 K may be obtained, while confining pressuresmore » and pore pressures are maintained independently up to 500 MPa. Observations of the structure will be made with standard optical, scanning electron, and laser confocal scanning optical microscopes. The data obtained will be used to quantify changes in surface roughness, porosity, pore dimensions, and their spatial fluctuations. The results of the experiments and the image data are then used in network, finite-difference and other numerical models to verify the validity of experimentally established relations between permeability and other rock properties.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
965902
Report Number(s):
DOE/00ER15058
TRN: US201003%%728
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-00ER15058
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; CALCITE; CARBON DIOXIDE; DEFORMATION; DISLOCATIONS; FLUCTUATIONS; FORMATION DAMAGE; FRACTURING; GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS; GEOMETRY; LASERS; METAMORPHISM; MICROSTRUCTURE; OPTICAL MICROSCOPES; PERMEABILITY; PORE PRESSURE; PORE STRUCTURE; POROSITY; QUARTZ; STRAIN RATE; TECTONICS; TRANSPORT; WASTES; dynamic metamorphism, fault mechanics, fault stability, pressure solution deformation

Citation Formats

Zhu, Wenlu, and Evans, J. Brian. Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/965902.
Zhu, Wenlu, & Evans, J. Brian. Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions. United States. doi:10.2172/965902.
Zhu, Wenlu, and Evans, J. Brian. Sun . "Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions". United States. doi:10.2172/965902. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/965902.
@article{osti_965902,
title = {Collaborative Research: Evolution of Pore Structure and Permeability of Rocks Under Hydrothermal Conditions},
author = {Zhu, Wenlu and Evans, J. Brian},
abstractNote = {The physical and transport properties of porous rocks can be altered by a variety of diagenetic, metamorphic, and tectonic processes, and the changes that result are of critical importance to such industrial applications as resource recovery, carbon dioxide sequestration, and waste isolation in geologic formations. These inter-relationships between rocks, pore fluids, and deformation are also the key to understanding many natural processes, including: dynamic metamorphism, fault mechanics, fault stability, and pressure solution deformation. Here, we propose work to investigate the changes of permeability and pore geometry owing to inelastic deformation by solution-transfer, brittle fracturing, and dislocation creep. The work would study the relationship of deformation and permeability reduction in fluid-filled quartz and calcite rocks and investigate the effects of loading configuration on the evolution of porosity and permeability under hydrothermal conditions. We would use a combination of techniques, including laboratory experiments, numerical calculations, and observations of rock microstructure. The laboratory experiments provide mechanical and transport data under conditions that isolate each particular mechanism. Our apparatus are designed to provide simultaneous measurements of pore volume, permeability, axial and volumetric strain rates while being loaded under isostatic or conventional triaxial loading. Temperatures up to 1400 K may be obtained, while confining pressures and pore pressures are maintained independently up to 500 MPa. Observations of the structure will be made with standard optical, scanning electron, and laser confocal scanning optical microscopes. The data obtained will be used to quantify changes in surface roughness, porosity, pore dimensions, and their spatial fluctuations. The results of the experiments and the image data are then used in network, finite-difference and other numerical models to verify the validity of experimentally established relations between permeability and other rock properties.},
doi = {10.2172/965902},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 15 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments thatmore » encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.« less
  • Our overall goal is to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal is motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite of numerical experiments thatmore » encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we intend to test the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming.« less
  • Our overall goal in this research was to quantify the potential for threshold changes in natural emission rates of trace gases, particularly methane and carbon dioxide, from pan-arctic terrestrial systems under the spectrum of anthropogenically-forced climate warming, and the conditions under which these emissions provide a strong feedback mechanism to global climate warming. This goal was motivated under the premise that polar amplification of global climate warming will induce widespread thaw and degradation of the permafrost, and would thus cause substantial changes to the landscape of wetlands and lakes, especially thermokarst (thaw) lakes, across the Arctic. Through a suite ofmore » numerical experiments that encapsulate the fundamental processes governing methane emissions and carbon exchanges – as well as their coupling to the global climate system - we tested the following hypothesis in the proposed research: There exists a climate warming threshold beyond which permafrost degradation becomes widespread and stimulates large increases in methane emissions (via thermokarst lakes and poorly-drained wetland areas upon thawing permafrost along with microbial metabolic responses to higher temperatures) and increases in carbon dioxide emissions from well-drained areas. Besides changes in biogeochemistry, this threshold will also influence global energy dynamics through effects on surface albedo, evapotranspiration and water vapor. These changes would outweigh any increased uptake of carbon (e.g. from peatlands and higher plant photosynthesis) and would result in a strong, positive feedback to global climate warming. In collaboration with our Purdue and MIT colleagues, we have attempted to quantify global climate warming effects on land-atmosphere interactions, land-river network interactions, permafrost degradation, vegetation shifts, and land use influence water, carbon, and nitrogen fluxes to and from terrestrial ecosystems in the pan-arctic along with their uncertainties. Based on our study results along with a review of observed and projected climate changes in Northern Eurasia by others, we have also outlined a more integrated modelling approach that may be developed and applied in future studies to better capture the influence of earth system feedbacks and human activities on the evolution of climate change effects over time. Specifically, we have examined: 1) how evapotranspiration and water availability have been changing in Northern Eurasia and may change in the future including the impact of forcing uncertainties (Liu et al., 2013, 2014, 2015); 2) how soil consumption of atmospheric methane across the globe have been influenced and may be influenced by climate change and nitrogen deposition during the 20th and 21st centuries (Zhuang et al., 2013); 3) how wetland inundation extent influences net CO2 and CH4 fluxes from northern high latitudes (Zhuang et al., 2015); 4) the relative effects of various environmental factors (including permafrost degradation) on terrestrial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loading of river networks across the pan-Arctic and how they have changed over the 20th century (Kicklighter et al., 2013); 5) the impacts of recent and future permafrost thaw on land-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange across the pan-Arctic (Gao et al., 2012, 2013; Hayes et al., 2014; Kicklighter et al. 2015a, 2018); 6) how climate-induced vegetation shifts may affect carbon fluxes and future land use in Northern Eurasia (Jiang et al., 2012, 2016; Kicklighter et al., 2014a) and the globe (Zhuang et al. 2015b); 7) the relative importance of legacies from past land use, future land-use change and climate change on projections of terrestrial carbon fluxes (Monier et al., 2015; Kicklighter et al., 2016); and 8) how the effects of earth system feedbacks and human activities can be better incorporated in assessments of climate change impacts (Monier et al., 2017; Groisman et al., 2018).« less
  • Progress is reported in the following areas: (1) the physical nature of fracturing at depth; (2) fracture permeability of crystalline rocks as a function of temperature, pressure, and hydrothermal alteration; and (3) mechanical properties of rocks at high temperatures and pressures. (ACR)
  • Research progress for the period March 1982 through October 1982 is reported. The permeability system that is nearing completion is briefly described. Several complementary experiments were conducted: (1) a study of the evolution of surfaces undergoing dissolution, with specific emphasis on the changes of surface roughness and asperity shape; and (2) an experiment to assess whether measureable pressure solution could occur in the time constraints typical of the proposed permeability experiments. (ACR)