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Elastic Properties of Sedimentary Rocks

  • Author / Creator
    Melendez-Martinez, Jaime
  • Sedimentary rocks are an important research topic since such rocks are associated to sources of ground water as well as oil, gas, and mineral reservoirs. In this work, elastic and physical properties of a variety of sedimentary samples that include glacial sediments, carbonates, shales, one evaporite, and one argillite from a variety of locations are investigated. Assuming vertical transverse isotropy, ultrasonic compressional- and shear-waves (at 1 MHz central frequency) were measured as a function of confining pressure on all samples with the exception of glacial samples which were tested assuming isotropy. Tensile strength tests (Brazilian test) were also carried out on selected glacial samples and, in addition, static-train measurements were conducted on shales and argillite samples. Lithological and textural features of samples were obtained through thin section techniques, scanning electron microscopy images and micro-tomography images. X-ray diffraction and X-Ray fluorescence provided the mineralogical oxides content information. Porosity, density, and pore structure were studied by using a mercury intrusion porosimeter and a helium pycnometer. The wide range of porosities of the studied samples (ranging from a minimum of 1% for shales to a maximum 45% for some glacial sediments) influence the measured velocities since high porosity sample shows an noticeable velocity increment as confining pressure increases as a consequence of closure of microcracks and pores, unlike low porosity samples where increment is quasi-lineal. Implementation of Gassmann´s relation to ultrasonic velocities obtained from glacial samples has negligible impact on them when assuming water saturated samples, which suggests that state of saturation it is no so important in defining such velocities and instead they are mainly frame-controlled. On the other hand, velocities measured on carbonate and evaporite samples show that samples are at best weak anisotropic, thus the intrinsic anisotropy of such rocks has a minor contribution on anisotropy observed at seismic scales. In contrast, shales and argillite samples are highly anisotropic, with the dynamic modulus obtained from velocities up to 3.31 times higher than static modulus obtained from static-strain measurements at pressures <3 MPa.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R33T9DF65
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Physics
  • Specialization
    • Geophysics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Schmitt, Douglas (Physics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Rosolowsky, Erik (Physics)
    • Kravchinsky, Vadim (Physics)
    • Sacchi, Mauricio (Physics)
    • Harris, Nick (Earth and Atmospheric Science)
    • Wong, Ron (Civil Engineering)