Permeability anisotropy in faulted sandstone - Implications for fault seal

N. Farrell, D. Healy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Quantifying the permeability of fault zones and fault rocks is critical to the success of exploration and production. Directional variations in permeability have previously been reported from clay-rich fault rocks, but here we describe significant permeability anisotropy in fault rocks produced from two different sandstones, an arenite and a sub-arkose. In both cases, the maximum permeability of the fault rock is aligned with the fault slip vector in these normal faults, and the minimum permeability is oriented in the fault normal direction. Permeability anisotropy spans 3-5 orders of magnitude in both cases, and has major implications for the prediction of sealing behaviour in the subsurface. While the across fault permeability in our samples is low and the faults might be predicted as sealing, the along fault (up-dip) permeability is so high that leakage along the fault is a real possibility. Our results highlight the need for careful analysis of directional variations in permeability, especially in fault zones and fault rocks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication4th International Conference on Fault and Top Seals 2015: Art or Science?
PublisherEuropean Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE
Pages200-204
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781510814172
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event4th International Conference on Fault and Top Seals 2015: Art or Science? - Almeria, Spain
Duration: 20 Sep 201524 Sep 2015

Conference

Conference4th International Conference on Fault and Top Seals 2015: Art or Science?
CountrySpain
CityAlmeria
Period20/09/1524/09/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics

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  • Cite this

    Farrell, N., & Healy, D. (2015). Permeability anisotropy in faulted sandstone - Implications for fault seal. In 4th International Conference on Fault and Top Seals 2015: Art or Science? (pp. 200-204). European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE.