pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 143, Issue 1–3, pp 181–201 | Cite as

Petrophysical study of faults in sandstone using petrographic image analysis and X-ray computerized tomography

  • M. Antonellini
  • A. Aydin
  • D. D. Pollard
  • P. D'Onfro
Faulting and Fault Zones: Field Observations


Petrographic image analysis (PIA) and X-ray computerized tomography (CT) provide local determinations of porosity in sandstone. We have investigated small faults called deformation bands in porous sandstones using these techniques. Because the petrophysical properties of the fault rock vary at a small scale (mm scale), the ability of PIA and CT to determine porosity in small volumes of rock and to map porosity distribution in two and three dimensions is crucial. This information is used to recognize the processes involved in fault development and the different kinds of microstructures associated with dilatancy and compaction. The petrophysical study of fault rock in sandstone permits one to make predictions of the hydraulic properties of a fault and thereby evaluate the sealing or fluid transmitting characteristics of faulted reservoirs and aquifers. The results of this study indicate that faulting in sandstone alters the original porosity and permeability of the host rock: the porosity is reduced by an order of magnitude and the permeability is reduced by one to more than seven orders of magnitude for faults associated with compaction.

Key words

Cataclasis fluid flow fault video image analysis X-ray computerized tomography porosity permeability 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Antonellini
    • 1
  • A. Aydin
    • 1
  • D. D. Pollard
    • 1
  • P. D'Onfro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geological and Environmental SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordU.S.A.
  2. 2.Conoco Inc.Ponca CityU.S.A.

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