A new method for characterising the detailed fracture geometry in sandstone cores is presented. This method is based on the impregnation of samples with coloured resin, without significant disturbance of the fractures. The fractures are made clearly visible by the resin, thus allowing the fracture geometry to be examined digitally. In order to model the bulk hydraulic conductivity, the samples are sectioned serially perpendicular to the flow direction. The hydraulic conductivity of individual sections is estimated by summing the contribution of the matrix and each fracture from the digital data. Finally, the hydraulic conductivity of the bulk sample is estimated by a harmonic average in series along the flow path. Results of this geometrical method are compared with actual physical conductivity values measured from fluid experiments carried out prior to sectioning. The predicted conductivity from the fracture geometry parameters (e.g., fracture aperture, fracture width, fracture length and fracture relative roughness all measured using an optical method) is in good agreement with the independent physical measurements, thereby validating the approach.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Pure and Applied Geophysics|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- Fractured sandstone, hydraulic conductivity, fracture geometry, visualisation of natural fractures