Evaluating Petrophysical Relationships in Fractured Rock using Geophysical Measurements

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Quantification of the pore geometric properties controlling mass transfer rates in fractured rock aquifers is a challenging characterization problem, especially given the scales of heterogeneity. The efficiency of in-situ remediation efforts that target hydraulically connected and dead-end fracture zones is limited, in part, due to the diffusion of aqueous phase contaminants into and out of the less-mobile pore spaces in the matrix surrounding fractures. Two geophysical technologies, complex resistivity (CR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are sensitive to pore geometry and may provide key information on transport parameters where diffusion can be a limiting factor in and around boreholes. We present laboratory CR and NMR data from cores collected from field sites with variable lithologies and examine the sensitivity of these measurements to less-mobile versus mobile porosity. Supporting data include surface area measurements using the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method, pore size distributions from mercury porosimetry, gravimetric measurements of matrix total porosity and gas permeability. We examine the predictive capability of CR and NMR to determine these pore scale properties as a function of geological setting. The petrophysical relationships illustrate the potential for use of new borehole logging tools to determine the spatial variability of physical properties controlling mass transfer close to fractures. The correlations of measurements to rock-type specific relations indicate that minimal core measurements might be needed to calibrate the results to a specific site.

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Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting on December 14, 2015 in San Francisco, CA