Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 275–293 | Cite as

Influence of Numerical Cementation on Multiphase Displacement in Rough Fractures

  • Adenike Tokan-Lawal
  • Maša ProdanovićEmail author
  • Christopher J. Landry
  • Peter Eichhubl


We present an application of 3D X-ray computed microtomography for studying the influence of numerical cementation on flow in a cement-lined rough-walled fracture. The imaged fracture geometry serves as input for flow modeling using a combination of the level set and the lattice Boltzmann methods to characterize the capillary-dominated fluid displacement properties and the relative permeability of the naturally cemented fracture. We further numerically add cement to the naturally cement-lined fracture to quantify the effect of increasing cement thickness and diminishing aperture on flow properties. Pore space geometric tortuosity and capillary pressure as a function of water saturation both increase with the numerically increased fracture cement thickness. The creation of unevenly distributed apertures and cement contact points during numerical cement growth causes the wetting and non-wetting fluids to impede each other, with no consistent trends in relative permeability with increasing saturation. Tortuosity of wetting and non-wetting fluid phases exhibits none to poor correlation with relative permeability and thus cannot be used to predict it, contrary to previous findings in smoother fractures.


Rough fracture Cementation Fluid displacement Relative permeability Tortuosity 



We are grateful to Julia Gale for providing the fractured sample for analysis and the Shell-University of Texas Unconventional Resources (SUTUR) program for funding this work. We further thank Jessie Maisano at UTCT, High-Resolution X-ray Facility, The University of Texas at Austin ( for imaging the sample, and Texas Advanced Computing Center ( for providing the computational resources. The software used in this work is available (see links provided in the text), and the dataset has been published online (Prodanovic et al. 2016). Publication authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of GeosciencesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Shell International Exploration and Production Inc.HoustonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Petroleum and Geosystems EngineeringThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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