Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:677 | Cite as

Fractal analysis of pore structure of granite after variable thermal cycles

  • Fei Zhao
  • Qiang SunEmail author
  • Weiqiang Zhang
Original Article


Thermal cycling can change the micro-structure of rock, and the change of pore characteristics is an important manifestation of its structural change. In this paper, the pore characteristics of granite under different thermal cycling conditions [i.e., variable thermal cycles (i.e., 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20); variable temperatures (i.e., 25, 250, 350, 450, 550, and 650 °C)] are studied by mercury intrusion technique under the research background of dry–hot rock development. The results show that the pore characteristic distribution curve of granite shows obvious bimodal characteristics. According to this, the pore of granite can be divided into two categories (i.e., 0.01 < r < 10 μm and 10 < r < 200 μm). According to the analysis of pore distribution under different thermal cycling conditions, the influence of thermal cycling on the pores is great, especially for the pores with pore diameter of 0.1–100 μm, its diameter and volume increase with the increase of temperature. In addition, the results of fractal dimension calculation show that the number of thermal cycles has little effect on pore structure, while temperature has a great influence on pore structure, which reduces the complexity of the pore structure with pore diameter of 0.01–10 μm and increases the complexity of the pore structure with pore diameter of 10–200 μm.


Granite pores Cooling and thermal treatment Fractal dimension 

List of symbols


The number of thermal cycles


Sample diameter (mm)


Fractal dimension


Coefficient of determination


Total volume of the sample


Solid volume of rock


Total volume of pores


Pressure required for mercury to fill the pore size r (MPa)


Pore size/diameter (μm)


Surface tension of mercury (480 mN/cm)


Contact angle between mercury and solid (140°)


Volume of mercury injected into the pores of the rock at injection pressure P


Injection pressure (MPa)



This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41672279, 41807233) and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. BK20180662). We would also like to thank the technicians who helped us during the experiment and the anonymous reviewer for the constructive comments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Resources and GeosciencesChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Geological Research Institute for Coal Green MiningXi’an University of Science and TechnologyXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Geology and EnvironmentXi’an University of Science and TechnologyXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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