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Variability in spatial distribution of mineral phases in the Lower Bowland Shale, UK, from the mm- to μm-scale: Quantitative characterization and modelling

Fauchille, AL; van den Eijnden, AP; Ma, L; Chandler, M; Taylor, KG; Madi, K; Lee, PD; (2018) Variability in spatial distribution of mineral phases in the Lower Bowland Shale, UK, from the mm- to μm-scale: Quantitative characterization and modelling. Marine and Petroleum Geology , 92 pp. 109-127. 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.02.029. Green open access

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Abstract

The microstructure of a highly laminated Lower Bowland Shale sample is characterized at the micron-to millimeter scale, to investigate how such characterization can be utilized for microstructure-based modelling of the shale's geomechanical behavior. A mosaic of scanning electron microscope (SEM) back-scattered electron (BSE) images was studied. Mineral and organic content and their anisotropy vary between laminae, with a high variability in fracturing and multi-micrometer aggregates of feldspars, carbonates, quartz and organics. The different microstructural interface types and heterogeneities were located and quantified, demonstrating the microstructural complexity of the Bowland Shale, and defining possible pathways for fracture propagation. A combination of counting-box, dispersion, covariance and 2D mapping approaches were used to determine that the total surface of each lamina is 3 to 11 times larger than the scale of heterogeneities relative to mineral proportion and size. The dispersion approach seems to be the preferential technique for determining the representative elementary area (REA) of phase area fraction for these highly heterogeneous large samples, supported by 2D quantitative mapping of the same parameter. Representative microstructural models were developed using Voronoï tessellation using these characteristic scales. These models encapsulate the microstructural features required to simulate fluid flow through these porous Bowland Shales at the mesoscale.

Type: Article
Title: Variability in spatial distribution of mineral phases in the Lower Bowland Shale, UK, from the mm- to μm-scale: Quantitative characterization and modelling
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.02.029
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2018.02.029
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10049188
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