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Correlative multi-scale imaging of shales: a review and future perspectives

By
Lin Ma
Lin Ma
Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PJ, UKSchool of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9WJ, UK
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Anne-Laure Fauchille
Anne-Laure Fauchille
Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PJ, UKResearch Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA, UK
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Patrick J. Dowey
Patrick J. Dowey
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9WJ, UK
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Fernando Figueroa Pilz
Fernando Figueroa Pilz
Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PJ, UKResearch Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA, UK
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Loic Courtois
Loic Courtois
Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PJ, UKResearch Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA, UK
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Kevin G. Taylor
Kevin G. Taylor
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9WJ, UK
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Peter D. Lee
Peter D. Lee
Manchester X-ray Imaging Facility, School of Materials, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PJ, UKResearch Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

As the fastest growing energy sector globally, shale and shale reservoirs have attracted the attention of both industry and scholars. However, the strong heterogeneity at different scales and the extremely fine-grained nature of shales makes macroscopic and microscopic characterization highly challenging. Recent advances in imaging techniques have provided many novel characterization opportunities of shale components and microstructures at multiple scales. Correlative imaging, where multiple techniques are combined, is playing an increasingly important role in the imaging and quantification of shale microstructures (e.g. one can combine optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy/transmission electron microscopy and X-ray radiography in 2D, or X-ray computed tomography and electron microscopy in 3D). Combined utilization of these techniques can characterize the heterogeneity of shale microstructures over a large range of scales, from macroscale to nanoscale (c. 100–10−9 m). Other chemical and physical measurements can be correlated to imaging techniques to provide complementary information for minerals, organic matter and pores. These imaging techniques and subsequent quantification methods are critically reviewed to provide an overview of the correlative imaging workflow. Applications of the above techniques for imaging particular features in different shales are demonstrated, and key limitations and benefits summarized. Current challenges and future perspectives in shale imaging techniques and their applications are discussed.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Geomechanical and Petrophysical Properties of Mudrocks

E. H. Rutter
E. H. Rutter
University of Manchester, UK
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J. Mecklenburgh
J. Mecklenburgh
University of Manchester, UK
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K. Taylor
K. Taylor
University of Manchester, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
454
ISBN electronic:
978-1-78620-335-9
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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