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There are a variety of pore types in unconventional resource mudstones and shales. The currently preferred method by geologists and petrophysicists is to examine and analyze these mudstones and shales by argonion and focused ion-beam milling to produce an ultrasmooth surface, coupled with observation under the field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). Potential issues with Ar-ion milled/FESEM preparation and imaging include (1) the small size of sample cubes for upscaling, (2) loss of structural fabric during the milling–imaging process, (3) fewer non-inorganic pore types observed than when observed with an unpolished surface, (4) analog use of pores from one...

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