Direct imaging of fluid flow in fault-related rocks by X-ray CT
T. Hirono, M. Takahashi, S. Nakashima, 2003. "Direct imaging of fluid flow in fault-related rocks by X-ray CT", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
Download citation file:
Faults profoundly affect patterns and rates of fluid flow and solute transport in the geological environment. They may act as conduits, barriers or combined conduit-barrier systems. In order to elucidate the relationship between fluid flow properties and deformation mechanisms of fault-related rocks, we applied X-ray CT during laboratory permeameter measurements for direct imaging of fluid flow during permeability testing. A KI solution, which has high X-ray attenuation values, was used as a contrast medium for the advection imaging. Three-dimensional fluid flow distributions were measured for the studied fault-related rocks. Fault zones characterized by independent particulate flow as deformation mechanism act as conduits for fluid flow, whereas cataclastic fault zones act as barriers.
Figures & Tables
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.