Fluid Inclusion Analysis

Fluid Inclusion Research Program

Fluid inclusions are droplets of fluid trapped as imperfections within a growing crystal/mineral, or during healing and sealing processes in fractures in minerals. Acting as natural time capsules fluid inclusions are one of the best tools in geochemistry for determining the pressure, temperature, and composition of fluids associated with the formation of the host mineral and rock, and their subsequent history.

The SDI initiative maintains a modern fluid-inclusion analysis facility and an experimental hydrothermal laboratory capable of creating artificial fluid inclusions.

Andras Fall

Andras Fall leads SDI’s fluid inclusion research effort. He designed and directs the experimental hydrothermal facility. Fall also conducts research using Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope-based CL.

Fall’s research combines low-temperature geochemistry (fluid inclusions) and fracture analysis addressing fracture formation and cementation mechanisms, fracture timing, and pore pressure evolution in sedimentary basins, and fractured and unconventional reservoirs.

Among the developments stemming from the use of fluid-inclusions in the SDI program is the first reconstruction of the entire opening history of an individual fracture.

Current research is reconstructing the evolution of entire fracture arrays.

The fluid-inclusion research program has been integral in testing models of fracture cement precipitation.

Currently underway are observational and experimental studies of fracture cement precipitation and fluid inclusion trapping.

The following papers reflect some of Fall’s current research:

  • Fall, A., Eichhubl, P., Bodnar, R.J., Davis, S.J., Laubach, S.E., 2014. Natural hydraulic fracturing of tight-gas sandstone reservoirs, Piceance Basin, Colorado. GSA Bulletin, doi:10.1130/B31021.1.
  • Bodnar R.J., Azbej T., Becker S.P., Cannatelli C., Fall A., Severs M.J., 2013. Whole Earth geohydrologic cycle: From the clouds to the core: The distribution of water in the dynamic Earth system, in Bickford, M.E., ed., The Web of Geological Sciences: Advances, Impacts, and Interactions: Geological Society of America Special Paper 500, p. 431-461, doi:10.1130/2013.2500(13).
  • Fall A., Eichhubl P., Cumella S. P., Bodnar R. J., Laubach S. E., Becker S. P., 2012. Testing the basin-centered gas accumulation model using fluid inclusion observations: southern Piceance Basin, Colorado. AAPG Bulletin, v. 96, no. 12, p. 2297-2318. doi:10.1306/05171211149
  • Fall A., Tattitch B., Bodnar R. J., 2011. Combined microthermometric and Raman spectroscopic technique to determine the salinity of H2O-CO2-NaCl fluid inclusions based on clathrate melting. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 75, p. 951-964. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.11.021

Information about the SEM CL Facility

Structural Diagenesis Initiative Main Page

Fracture Research and Application Consortium