Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 595–621 | Cite as

Anti-correlated Porosity–Permeability Changes During the Dissolution of Carbonate Rocks: Experimental Evidences and Modeling

  • C. Garing
  • P. Gouze
  • M. Kassab
  • M. Riva
  • A. Guadagnini


The dissolution of carbonate rocks usually leads to both porosity \((\phi )\) and permeability \((k)\) increase. We present experimental evidences and physical-based models of positive and anti-correlated dynamics of \(k\) and \(\phi \) observed during dissolution experiments of carbonate rocks. We study the way the rate of change of \(\phi \) and \(k\) is controlled by the degree of undersaturation of the percolating solution for two different types of carbonate rocks. We document the occurrence of an anti-correlated \(k-\phi \) trend when the flowing fluid (deionized water) has a weak capacity of dissolution. A positive correlation is found when \(\hbox {CO}_{2}\) is added to the deionized water to increase the potential dissolution rate. Detailed analyses of the microstructures of the rock performed by X-ray microtomography reveal that low dissolution rate favors detachment of solid particles and their subsequent accumulation at the pore-throat inlet. Particles are detached from the rock matrix due to the differential dissolution rate of the indurated grains and the microporous cement. We then propose a simple phenomenological model to interpret the effect of the pore-throat clogging by the accumulation of partially dissolved carbonate particles. We conjecture that permeability is controlled by the decrease of the effective hydraulic radius and the increase of the tortuosity due to partial and localized obstruction of the pore network. Conversely, increasing the level of undersaturation of the flowing solution leads to an augmented potential of dissolving most of the transported particles before they reach the throats. In this case, both \(k\) and \(\phi \) increase and display power-law correlations.


Carbonates reservoirs Laboratory experiments Porosity evolution Permeability dynamics Dissolution X-ray microtomography 



We wish to thank Dr Elodie Boller (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France) for her precious help in the data acquisition and Dr Linda Luquot for the many constructive discussions concerning the experimental protocol setup. This study was supported by the EU-funded project PANACEA (EU-7thFP—ENERGY 282900).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Garing
    • 1
  • P. Gouze
    • 1
  • M. Kassab
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Riva
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. Guadagnini
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Géosciences Montpellier, UMR 5243 CNRS/INSUUniversité de Montpellier 2MontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e AmbientalePolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Hydrology and Water ResourcesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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