Quantitative characterization of fracture apertures using microfocus computed tomography
K. Vandersteen, B. Busselen, K. Van Den Abeele, J. Carmeliet, 2003. "Quantitative characterization of fracture apertures using microfocus computed tomography", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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Microfocus X-ray computed tomography (μCT) was used as a tool to determine the apertures of a fracture in a cylindrical sample of crinoidal limestone. After scanning, artefacts were removed from the images. Phantom objects were used to establish a calibration relationship between real fracture apertures and fracture aperture measurements on the μCT images. The performance of different procedures for quantitative fracture determination was examined. The calibration relationship was then used to determine the fracture apertures in a naturally fractured sample. A comparison of the μCT technique and a microscope technique shows a good agreement between their results.
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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.