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Anisotropy of experimentally compressed kaolinite-illite-quartz mixtures

Marco Voltolini, Hans-Rudolf Wenk, Nazmul Haque Mondol, Knut Bjorlykke and Jens Jahren
Anisotropy of experimentally compressed kaolinite-illite-quartz mixtures
Geophysics (February 2009) 74 (1): D13-D23


The anisotropy of physical properties is a well-known characteristic of many clay-bearing rocks. This anisotropy has important implications for elastic properties of rocks and must be considered in seismic modeling. Preferred orientation of clay minerals is an important factor causing anisotropy in clay-bearing rocks such as shales and mudstones that are the main cap rocks of oil reservoirs. The preferred orientation of clays depends mostly on the amount of clays and the degree of compaction. To study the effect of these parameters, we prepared several samples compressing (at two effective vertical stresses) a mixture of clays (illite and kaolinite) and quartz (silt) with different clay/quartz ratios. The preferred orientation of the phases was quantified with Rietveld analysis on synchrotron hard X-ray images. Pole figures for kaolinite and illite display a preferred orientation of clay platelets perpendicular to the compaction direction, increasing in strength with clay content and compaction pressure. Quartz particles have a random orientation distribution. Aggregate elastic properties can be estimated by averaging the single-crystal properties over the orientation distribution obtained from the diffraction data analysis. Calculated P-wave velocity anisotropy ranges from 0% (pure quartz sample) to 44% (pure clay sample, highly compacted), but calculated velocities are much higher than measured velocities. This is attributed to uncertainties about single-crystal elastic properties and oriented micropores and limited grain contacts that are not accounted for in the model. In this work, we present an effective method to obtain quantitative data, helping to evaluate the role of clay percentage and compaction pressure on the anisotropy of elastic properties of clay-bearing rocks.

ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 74
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Anisotropy of experimentally compressed kaolinite-illite-quartz mixtures
Affiliation: University of California, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Berkeley, CA, United States
Pages: D13-D23
Published: 200902
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 180
Accession Number: 2009-054047
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 5 tables
Secondary Affiliation: University of Oslo, NOR, Norway
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200930
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