STRUCTURAL HETEROGENEITIES AND PALEO FLUID FLOW IN AN ANALOG SANDSTONE RESERVOIR 2001-2004

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Fractures and faults are brittle structural heterogeneities that can act both as conduits and barriers with respect to fluid flow in rock. This range in the hydraulic effects of fractures and faults greatly complicates the challenges faced by geoscientists working on important problems: from groundwater aquifer and hydrocarbon reservoir management, to subsurface contaminant fate and transport, to underground nuclear waste isolation, to the subsurface sequestration of CO2 produced during fossil-fuel combustion. The research performed under DOE grant DE-FG03-94ER14462 aimed to address these challenges by laying a solid foundation, based on detailed geological mapping, laboratory experiments, and physical process modeling, on ... continued below

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Pollard, David & Aydin, Atilla February 22, 2005.

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Description

Fractures and faults are brittle structural heterogeneities that can act both as conduits and barriers with respect to fluid flow in rock. This range in the hydraulic effects of fractures and faults greatly complicates the challenges faced by geoscientists working on important problems: from groundwater aquifer and hydrocarbon reservoir management, to subsurface contaminant fate and transport, to underground nuclear waste isolation, to the subsurface sequestration of CO2 produced during fossil-fuel combustion. The research performed under DOE grant DE-FG03-94ER14462 aimed to address these challenges by laying a solid foundation, based on detailed geological mapping, laboratory experiments, and physical process modeling, on which to build our interpretive and predictive capabilities regarding the structure, patterns, and fluid flow properties of fractures and faults in sandstone reservoirs. The material in this final technical report focuses on the period of the investigation from July 1, 2001 to October 31, 2004. The Aztec Sandstone at the Valley of Fire, Nevada, provides an unusually rich natural laboratory in which exposures of joints, shear deformation bands, compaction bands and faults at scales ranging from centimeters to kilometers can be studied in an analog for sandstone aquifers and reservoirs. The suite of structures there has been documented and studied in detail using a combination of low-altitude aerial photography, outcrop-scale mapping and advanced computational analysis. In addition, chemical alteration patterns indicative of multiple paleo fluid flow events have been mapped at outcrop, local and regional scales. The Valley of Fire region has experienced multiple episodes of fluid flow and this is readily evident in the vibrant patterns of chemical alteration from which the Valley of Fire derives its name. We have successfully integrated detailed field and petrographic observation and analysis, process-based mechanical modeling, and numerical simulation of fluid flow to study a typical sandstone aquifer/reservoir at a variety of scales. We have produced many tools and insights which can be applied to active subsurface flow systems and practical problems of pressing global importance.

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  • Report No.: DOE/FG/14462-1
  • Grant Number: FG03-94ER14462
  • DOI: 10.2172/837005 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 837005
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc782179

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  • February 22, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 5, 2016, 5:22 p.m.

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Pollard, David & Aydin, Atilla. STRUCTURAL HETEROGENEITIES AND PALEO FLUID FLOW IN AN ANALOG SANDSTONE RESERVOIR 2001-2004, report, February 22, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc782179/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.