Abstract

Shales are one of the most complicated and intriguing natural materials on Earth. Their multiphase composition is continually evolving over various scales of length and time, creating the most heterogeneous class of rocks in existence. The heterogeneities manifest themselves from the submicroscopic scale to the macroscopic scale, and all contribute to a pronounced anisotropy and large variety of shale macroscopic behavior (Ulm and Abousleiman, 2006). Moreover, the effects of the multiphase composition are amplified within organic-rich shales that contain varying amounts of kerogen. Despite significant research into the properties of kerogen, fundamental questions remain regarding how the intrinsic rock physics properties of the organic fraction affect the macroscopic properties of host shales.

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