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Title: Caprock integrity susceptibility to permeable fracture creation

Caprock leakage is of crucial concern for environmentally and economically sustainable development of carbon dioxide sequestration and utilization operations. One potential leakage pathway is through fractures or faults that penetrate the caprock. In this study, we investigate the permeability induced by fracturing initially intact Marcellus shale outcrop specimens at stressed conditions using a triaxial direct-shear method. Measurements of induced permeability, fracture geometry, displacement, and applied stresses were all obtained at stressed conditions to investigate the coupled processes of fracturing and fluid flow as may occur in the subsurface. Fracture geometry was directly observed at stressed conditions using X-ray radiography video. Numerical simulation was performed to evaluate the stress distribution developed in the experiments. Our experiments show that permeability induced by fracturing is strongly dependent on the stresses at which the fractures are created, the magnitude of shearing displacement, and the duration of flow. The strongest permeability contrast was observed when comparing specimens fractured at low stress to others fractured at higher stress. Measureable fracture permeability decreased by up to 7 orders of magnitude over a corresponding triaxial confining stress range of 3.5 MPa to 30 MPa. These results show that increasing stress, depth, and time are all significant permeability inhibitorsmore » that may limit potential leakage through fractured caprock.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1750-5836
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 64; Conference: American Rock Mechanics Association ; 2017-06-25 - 2017-06-28 ; San Francisco, California, United States; Journal ID: ISSN 1750-5836
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Shear Stimulation; CO2 sequestration; X-ray video; Induced Seismicity; Triaxial Direct Shear
OSTI Identifier: