Digital rock physics (DRP) is an emerging technique that has rapidly become an indispensable tool to estimate elastic properties. The success of DRP mainly depends on three factors: acquiring a 3D rock structure image, accurately identifying 3D minerals, and using a proper numerical simulation method. Shales present a substantial challenge for DRP owing to their heterogeneous structure, composition, and properties from micron to centimeter scale. To obtain a sufficiently large field-of-view (FOV) image of a sample that reflects the detailed and representative internal structure and composition, we have developed a new DRP workflow to obtain large-FOV high-resolution digital rocks with 3D mineralogical information. Using the “divide-and-stitch” technique, a long shale sample is divided into several subunits, imaged separately by high-resolution X-ray microscopy (XRM), and then stitched to obtain a large-FOV 3D digital rock. An FOV of a rock cylinder (736 μm in diameter, 2358 μm in height, and 1 μm resolution) is used as an example. By correlating XRM and automated mineralogy, a large-FOV 3D mineral digital rock is obtained from a shale sample. Six mineral phases are identified and verified by automated mineralogy, and four laminae are detected according to the grain size, which offer a new perspective to study sedimentary processes and heterogeneities at the millimeter scale. The finite-difference method is used to compute the elastic properties of the large-FOV 3D mineral digital rock, and the results of Young’s modulus are within the limit of the Voigt/Reuss bounds. It also reveals that there is a difference in simulated elastic properties in the four laminae. The large-FOV 3D mineral digital rock offers the potential to explore the relationship between elastic properties and mineral phases, as well as the heterogeneities of elastic properties at the millimeter scale.

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