Expansion and shrinkage of sandstones during spontaneous imbibition of fluids

  • Marcus MöllerEmail author
  • Günter Buntebarth
  • Andreas Weller
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Stone in the Architectural Heritage: from quarry to monuments – environment, exploitation, properties and durability


The expansion of pure quartz sandstones is investigated during spontaneous imbibition of fluids. The selected Fontainebleau sandstone samples cover a wide variation in their petrophysical properties (e.g., porosity, permeability, P-wave velocity, and effective pore size), and demonstrate expansion and shrinkage during spontaneous imbibition of fluids with different surface tension. The capillary forces cause a spontaneous imbibition of the fluid into the pore space. The wetting of the mineral grains causes a volume strain to the matrix that can be recorded as an expansion. If the rigidity of the matrix is weak, a shrinkage of the sample is observed instead of expansion. The experiments have shown that the relative expansion depends on the surface tension of the imbibing fluid, the degree of saturation, the rigidity, and the effective pore radius of the sandstone sample.


Fontainebleau sandstone Expansion Shrinkage Hydric dilatation Surface tension Capillary forces 



The authors gratefully acknowledges the support from grant no. WE1557/16 funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Special thanks go to Stephan Kaufhold (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover, Germany) and Matthias Halisch (Leibniz-Institut für Angewandte Geophysik, Hannover, Germany) for providing the results of geochemical and petrophysical investigations on the sandstone samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Möller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Günter Buntebarth
    • 1
  • Andreas Weller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsClausthal University of TechnologyClausthal-ZellerfeldGermany

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