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Predicting the elastic response of organic-rich shale using nanoscale measurements and homogenisation methods

Lookup NU author(s): Majid Goodarzi, Dr Mohamed Rouainia, Professor Andrew Aplin



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell, 2017.

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Determination of the mechanical response of shales through experimental procedures is a practical challenge due to their heterogeneity and the practical difficulties of retrieving good quality core samples. Here, we investigate the possibility of using multi-scale homogenisation techniques to predict the macroscopic mechanical response of shales, based on quantitative mineralogical descriptions. We use the novel PeakForce Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping (QNM) technique to generate high resolution mechanical images of shales, allowing the response of porous clay, organic matter and mineral inclusions to be measured at the nanoscale. These observations support some of the assumptions previously made in the use of homogenisation methods to estimate the elastic properties of shale, and also earlier estimates of the mechanical properties of organic matter. We evaluate the applicability of homogenisation techniques against measured elastic responses of organicrich shales, partly from published data and also from new indentation tests carried out in this work. Comparison of experimental values of the elastic constants of shale samples with those predicted by homogenisation methods showed that almost all predictions were within the standard deviation of experimental data. This suggests that the homogenisation approach is a useful way of estimating the elastic and mechanical properties of shales, in situations where conventional rock mechanics test data cannot be measured.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Goodarzi M, Rouainia M, Aplin AC, Cubillas P, de Block M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Prospecting

Year: 2017

Volume: 65

Issue: 6

Pages: 1597-1614

Print publication date: 01/11/2017

Online publication date: 24/01/2017

Acceptance date: 07/10/2016

Date deposited: 23/10/2016

ISSN (print): 0016-8025

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2478

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12475


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