Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Effects of diagenesis (cement precipitation) during fracture opening on fracture aperture-size scaling in carbonate rocks

By
J. N. Hooker
J. N. Hooker
1
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
L. A. Gomez
L. A. Gomez
1
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
2
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, 3120 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, Texas 77098, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
S. E. Laubach
S. E. Laubach
1
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
J. F. W. Gale
J. F. W. Gale
1
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
R. Marrett
R. Marrett
1
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
3
Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78713, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

A correlation is demonstrated between the presence of crack-seal texture and power-law kinematic aperture-size (width) distributions among opening-mode fractures in rocks of dominantly carbonate mineralogy. Crack-seal opening increments (opening-displacement increment sizes or ‘gaps’) within individual fractures follow narrow normal or log-normal size distributions, suggesting that fracture widening accumulates in characteristic (usually micrometre-scale) size increments. The scale invariance in overall fracture width distributions present in some fracture sets most likely arises from grouping of these increments (localization) to form larger fractures (millimetre- to centimetre-scale widths). Such localization could be a consequence of the tendency for larger, less cemented fractures to break preferentially during subsequent deformation. Cement accumulation patterns thus provide a mechanism for positive feedback whereby large-fracture growth exceeds small-fracture growth. Using characteristically sized growth increments, a fracture growth model accurately simulates fracture arrays having power-law fracture-width distributions. Model parameters can be altered to produce characteristic-width fracture size distributions. The results have implications for how fracture porosity and permeability evolve in carbonate reservoirs.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis

J. Garland
J. Garland
Cambridge Carbonates Ltd, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
J. E. Neilson
J. E. Neilson
University of Aberdeen, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
S. E. Laubach
S. E. Laubach
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
K. J. Whidden
K. J. Whidden
USGS, USA
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
370
ISBN electronic:
9781862396180
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal