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Discontinuum Modelling of Vuggy Carbonates Open Access


Other title
CT imaging
Bonded Particle Model (BPM)
Uniaxial Compression Strength
Grosmont Vuggy Carbonates
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ornes, Alma I
Supervisor and department
Chalaturnyk, Rick (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Boisvert, Jeff (School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering)
Chalaturnyk, Rick (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Martin, Derek (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The Grosmont Formation in Alberta is a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir of current interest for bitumen extraction, specifically within the vuggy porosity unit. The current research addresses the effects of vugs on the strength and stiffness of carbonate samples under uniaxial compression. Particle Flow Code 3D (PFC3D), a discontinuum modelling technique, is used to evaluate vuggy carbonate samples with different vug volumes, shapes, and locations. This thesis also presents a carbonate testing workflow, which combines computed tomography, laboratory testing, and PFC3D modelling. The workflow is evaluated with laboratory experiments on six vuggy carbonate samples from the Grosmont Formation. The workflow successfully generates samples with the correct vuggy geometry; yet the PFC3D simulations over-predict the laboratory results by 24 to 163% for the uniaxial compression strength. Future research on the calibration of PFC3D material for various scales is recommended to further the understanding of up-scaling carbonate properties for heterogeneous reservoirs.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Ornes, A. I., Deisman, N. L., & Chalaturnyk, R. J. (2013, January 1). Discontinuum Modelling of Vuggy Carbonate Specimens: Impact of Vugs on Strength And Stiffness. American Rock Mechanics Association

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File title: Discontinuum modelling of Vuggy Carbonates
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