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Temperature dependence of the electrical resistivity of water-saturated rocks

F. J. Llera, M. Sato, K. Nakatsuka and H. Yokoyama
Temperature dependence of the electrical resistivity of water-saturated rocks
Geophysics (May 1990) 55 (5): 576-585


The electrical resistivities of several dacitic tuffs, sandstone, andesite, granite, and crystalline limestone samples, saturated with a 0.001 M aqueous solution of KCl, were measured in the range from room temperature to 250 degrees C. The experiments were made using a cell technique with platinum electrodes. Of particular interest are the data collected at temperatures above 200 degrees C under high pressure, a region scarcely documented in the literature.Basically the samples used in the present study show a quasi-exponential decrease of resistivity with temperature up to 200 degrees C. The same temperature dependence is found for the resistivity of the saturating solution, thus confirming that conduction in water-saturated rocks is essentially electrolytic. At temperatures above 200 degrees C, some specimens of highly porous dacitic tuff still closely follow the saturating solution in the pattern of resistivity variation with temperature, exhibiting a minimum around 220 degrees C; however, the behavior of low-porosity crystalline rocks (notably granite) where a relatively abrupt decrease of resistivity is observed above 50 degrees C, departs from that of the saturating solution. Hysteresis phenomena are more or less observed in most rock samples; i.e., the resistivity after one complete thermal cycle is systematically lower than its initial value. This experimental evidence points out that mechanisms different from water characteristics, such as growth of microcracks or chemical reactions, contribute to electrical conduction at high temperature. We point out the electrical signature of the thermally induced growth of micro-cracks (thermal cracking) in welded tuff and granite and suggest the possibility of using electrical measurements to monitor an extension of reservoir fractures in hot dry rock.

ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 55
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Temperature dependence of the electrical resistivity of water-saturated rocks
Affiliation: Fact. Aviles, Ensidesa Grupo INT, Aviles, Spain
Pages: 576-585
Published: 199005
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 22
Accession Number: 1990-031417
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesEngineering geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N30°00'00" - N45°00'00", E129°00'00" - E147°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Tohoku Univ., JPN, Japan
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: 1990
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