Porosity measurements of sedimentary rocks by means of microfocus X-ray computed tomography (μCT)
M. Van Geet, D. Lagrou, R. Swennen, 2003. "Porosity measurements of sedimentary rocks by means of microfocus X-ray computed tomography (μCT)", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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Porosity of reservoir rocks is an important petrophysical characteristic, used as a basic parameter in simulation studies for predicting reservoir quality. An extensive debate continues about the techniques that are available for porosity measurements and visualization. One aspect is the fact that petrophysical measurements are performed on volumetric samples, whereas classical geological petrography using a petrographical microscope is restricted to 2D analysis. This leads to a discrepancy between petrographical and petrophysical studies. This paper aims to evaluate microfocus X-ray computed tomography (μCT) as a technique that can link petrography and petrophysics. A short overview of the μCT technique is given, together with a discussion of its limitations, mainly due to artefacts. Optimization of image quality and procedures for quantification are outlined. (μCT results for porosity measurements of a limestone and a sandstone are compared with results obtained by other techniques.
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X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a technique that allows non-destructive imaging and quantification of internal features of objects. It was originally developed as a medical imaging technique, but it is now also becoming widely used for the study of materials in engineering and the geosciences. X-ray CT reveals differences in density and atomic composition and can therefore be used for the study of porosity, the relative distribution of contrasting solid phases and the penetration of injected solutions. As a non-destructive technique, it is ideally suited for monitoring of processes, such as the movement of solutions and the behaviour of materials under compression. Because large numbers of parallel two-dimensional cross-sections can be obtained, three-dimensional representations of selected features can be created. In this book, various applications of X-ray CT in the geosciences are illustrated by papers covering a wide range of disciplines, including petrology, soil science, petroleum geology, geomechanics and sedimentology.