Software and methods

New software and methods for fracture, fault, and diagenesis study are products of our research program. This page, under development, will provide links to software (where publicly available) and accounts of methods (including tutorials).

Programs & Models

jointsJOINTS software | Geomechanics- & geochemically based modeling of fracture pattern development

Fully coupled model | In development

With diagenesis | Olson, J. E, Laubach, S. E., and Lander, R. H., 2009, Natural fracture characterization in tight gas sandstones: Integrating mechanics and diagenesis. AAPG Bulletin, v. 93, no. 11, p. 1535-1549.

With flow modeling | Philip, Z. G., J. W. Jennings, J. E. Olson, S. E. Laubach, and J. Holder, 2005, Modeling coupled fracture-matrix fluid flow in geomechanically simulated fracture networks: Society of Petroleum Engineers Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, v. 8, p. 300–309.

Fracture patterns | Olson, J. E., 1993, Joint pattern development: Effects of subcritical crack-growth and mechanical crack interaction: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 98, p. 12,251–12,265, doi:10.1029/93JB00779.

3D code | Fracture growth simulation

Wu, K., Olson, J. E., 2015, A simplified three-dimensional discontinuity method for multiple fracture simulations. Int. J. Fracture 193, 191-204. doi: 10.1007/s10704-015-0023-4

Fracture analysis & statistical software

CorrCount | Rigorous analysis of spatial arrangement. Marrett et al. 2017.

  • Related papers |Marrett, R., Gale, J.F.W., Gomez, L.A. and Laubach, S.E., 2017. Correlation analysis of fracture arrangement in space. Journal of Structural Geology. doi.org/10.1016/j.jsg.2017.06.012

    Matlab-based software, developed for analyses presented in Marrett et al., 201., is available at no cost at: https://github.com/marrett/CorrelationCount or by contacting Gale or Laubach. Please cite Marrett et al., 2017 if you use the program.

    More papers in: Laubach et al., 2017 | view | Journal of Structural Geology special issue:

FracKin | Tool for systematic use of all kinematic indicators. R. Marrett MS in preparation, 2017.

  • Related papers | Marrett, R. and Almendinger, R.W., 1990, Kinematic analysis of fault-slip data, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 12, no. 8, p. 973-986.

Fractal Parallel Plate Permeability Software | R. Marrett, unpublished, 2000. Available upon request.

Size Accumulation | Rule-based fracture and size population opening model | J. N. Hooker, 2012, dissertation.

3D orientation statistics routine | R. Marrett in Ukar, E., Laubach, S.E., and Marrett, R., 2016, Quartz c-axis orientation patterns in fracture cement as a measure of fracture opening rate and a validation tool for fracture pattern models: Geosphere, v. 12, no. 2, p. 1–38, doi: 10.1130/GES01213.1. | view at publisher

GoMezure | Software for microanalysis data processing. Gomez, L. A., and Laubach, S. E, 2006, Rapid digital quantification of microfracture populations. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 28, 408-420.

Cement accumulation patterns and rates in fractures

Lander R.H., and Laubach, S.E., 2015, Insights into rates of fracture growth and sealing from a model for quartz cementation in fractured sandstones. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 127, no. 3-4, p. 516-538. doi: 10.1130/B31092.1

Methods

SCI rigRock Property Testing | Laboratory Methods

Subcritical Crack Index | Holder, J., Olson, J.E., and Philip, Z., 2001, Experimental determination of subcritical crack growth parameters in sedimentary rock: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 28, no. 4, 599-602.

Hydrostone methods | Bahorich, B., Olson, J.E., Holder, J., 2012. Examining the effect of cemented natural fractures on hydraulic fracture propagation in hydrostone block experiments. SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 8-10 October 2012, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 160197-MS

Testing Fracture-Cement Join | Lee, H.P., Olson, J.E., Holder, J., Gale, J.F.W., Myers, R., 2015, The interaction of propagating opening mode fractures with pre-existing discontinuities in shale. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120/1, 169–181. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011358

Fracture Description & Analysis | Field, Core & Laboratory Methods

Reconstruction of fracture opening histories

Laubach, S., Lander, R., Bonnell, L., Olson, J., and Reed, R., 2004, Opening histories of fractures in sandstone: in Cosgrove, J.W., and Engelder, T., editors, The initiation, propagation, and arrest of joints and other fractures, Geological Society of London Special Publication 231, 1-9.

Fracture timing using fluid inclusions, cement texture & accumulation & burial history

Our methods to use diagenesis observations to determine fracture timing have evolved, but the chronology of publication does not match the evolution of ideas. The insight eventually published in Lander & Laubach 2015 was the basis for subsequent research to test or extend the model. Thus key tests of the model (Becker et al.) and adaptation of the model (Gale et al.) were published before Lander’s key insight. The listed references document aspects of this approach.

Rates from EBSD | Ukar, E., Laubach, S.E., and Marrett, R., 2016, Quartz c-axis orientation patterns in fracture cement as a measure of fracture opening rate and a validation tool for fracture pattern models: Geosphere, v. 12, no. 2, p. 1–38, doi: 10.1130/GES01213.1.

Multiple fracture sets | Laubach, S.E., Fall, A., Copley, L.K., Marrett, R., Wilkins, S., 2016, Fracture porosity creation and persistence in a basement-involved Laramide fold, Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation, Green River Basin, U.S.A. Geological Magazine. doi:10.1017/S0016756816000157

Fracture cement model, Lander and Laubach 2015

Lander & Laubach 2015

Rigorous cement modeling | Lander R.H., and Laubach, S.E., 2015, Insights into rates of fracture growth and sealing from a model for quartz cementation in fractured sandstones. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 127, no. 3-4, p. 516-538. doi: 10.1130/B31092.1

Model adaptation to carbonate systems | Gale, J. F., Lander, R. H., Reed, R. M., and Laubach, S. E., 2010, Modeling fracture porosity evolution in dolostone. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 9, p. 1201-1211. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2009.04.018.

Fluid inclusion assemblage sequences | Becker, S.P., Eichhubl, P. Laubach, S.E., Reed, R.M., Lander, R.H., and Bodnar, R.J., 2010, A 48 m.y. history of fracture opening, temperature, and fluid pressure: Cretaceous Travis Peak Formation, East Texas basin. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 122, no. 7/8, p. 1081-1093; doi 10.1130/B30067.1

Cement accumulation and burial history | Laubach, S.E. and Diaz-Tushman, K., 2009, Laurentian paleostress trajectories and ephemeral fracture permeability, Cambrian Eriboll Formation sandstones west of the Moine thrust zone, northwest Scotland. Journal of the Geological Society (London), v. 166, part 2, p. 349-362.

Crack-seal sequence reconstruction | Laubach, S., Lander, R., Bonnell, L., Olson, J., and Reed, R., 2004, Opening histories of fractures in sandstone: in Cosgrove, J.W., and Engelder, T., editors, The initiation, propagation, and arrest of joints and other fractures, Geological Society of London Special Publication 231, 1-9.

Fractures tied to burial history using diagenesis | Laubach, S. E., 1988, Subsurface fractures and their relationship to stress history in East Texas Basin sandstone: Tectonophysics, v. 156, p. 37-49.

Field tools old and new

Field tools old and new

Fracture size measurement including comparator tool

Method and comparator | Ortega, O. J., Marrett, R., and Laubach, S. E., 2006, A scale-independent approach to fracture intensity and average fracture spacing: AAPG Bulletin, v. 90, no. 2, 193-208.

  • Related paper: Marrett, R., 1996, Aggregate properties of fracture populations: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 18, No. 2/3, 169-178.

Fracture analysis from microfractures & microfracture classification

Method to create and analyze mega-thin sections | Gomez, L. A., and Laubach, S. E, 2006, Rapid digital quantification of microfracture populations. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 28, 408-420.

Microfracture identification & classification | Laubach, S. E., 1997, A method to detect natural fracture strike in sandstones: AAPG Bulletin, v. 81, no. 4, 604-623.

Microfractures: a review |  Anders, M., Laubach, S. E., Scholz, C., 2014, Journal of Structural Geology 69/B, 377-394..

Deducing location of open fractures from limited core samples

Laubach, S. E., 2003, Practical approaches to identifying sealed and open fractures, AAPG Bulletin, v. 87, No. 4, (April 2003) 561-579.

Orienting drilled wireline-sampled sidewall cores

Laubach, S.E., and Gale, J.F.W., 2006, Obtaining fracture information for low-permeability (tight) gas sandstones from sidewall cores: Journal of Petroleum Geology, v. 29 (2) (April 2006), 147-158.

Zeiss SEM

Zeiss SEM

Imaging & Image Analysis | Microanalysis

Ukar, E. and Laubach, S.E., 2016, Syn- and postkinematic cement textures in fractured carbonate rocks: Insights from advanced cathodoluminescence imaging, Tectonophysics in press.

Reed, R. M., and Milliken, K. L., 2003, How to overcome imaging problems associated with carbonate minerals on SEM-based cathodoluminescence systems: Journal of Sedimentary Research, 73 (2), 328-332.

Milliken, K.L., and Laubach, S.E., 2000, Brittle deformation in sandstone diagenesis as revealed by scanned cathodoluminescence imaging with application to characterization of fractured reservoirs : Chapter 9, Cathodoluminescence in Geosciences, New York, Springer Verlag, 225-243.

Classifications & Reviews

  • Fracture Height Classification | Hooker et al. 2013 Journal of Structural Geology | view at publisher
  • Mechanical and Fracture Stratigraphy | Laubach et al. 2009 AAPG Bulletin | view at publisher
  • Fracture & Host Rock Cement | Laubach 2003 AAPG Bulletin | view at publisher
  • Fault and Fracture Spatial Arrangement | Laubach et al. 2017 | view |; Marrett et al. 2007 | view
  • Fracture Spatial Arrangement Model | Olson 2004; Olson et al. 2009 | view
  • Fracture Terminology | Schultz & Fossen 2008 AAPG Bulletin | view at publisher
  • Cement in Fractures | Laubach 2003 AAPG Bulletin; Lander & Laubach 2015 GSA Bulletin
  • Fracture System Permeability |Olson et al. 2009 AAPG Bulletin
  • Pores | Milliken & Curtis Marine & Petroleum Geology 2016 | view at publisher
  • Structural Diagenesis | Laubach et al. 2010 Journal of Structural Geology | view at publisher
  • Shale Fracture Systems | Gale et al. 2014 AAPG Bulletin | view at publisher
  • Deformation Bands | Fossen, Schultz et al. Journal of the Geological Society | view at publisher
  • Coal Fracture (Cleat) Systems | Laubach et al. 1998 Int. J. Coal Geol. | view at publisher
  • Tight Gas Sandstone Fracture Systems | Laubach in preparation
  • Microfracture Classification | Laubach 1997 AAPG Bulletin | view at publisher
  • Microfracture Review | Anders, Laubach, Scholz 2014 Journal of Structural Geology | view at publisher

 Workflows

  •     Fracture models to DFN | Link to FRAC site [password required]
  •     Natural fracture models to HF treatment design | Link to FRAC site
  •     Fracture pattern realization to permeability prediction | Link to FRAC site
  •     Rock property measurements to fracture pattern realization | Link to FRAC site
  •     Fracture timing analysis to validated fracture prediction model | Link to FRAC site
  •     Core analysis to calibrated and validated seismic methods for fracture quantification | Link to FRAC site
  •     Core analysis to fracture intensity measures for all samples (overcomes sampling limitations) | Link to FRAC site
  •     Core analysis to fracture open/not open measures for all samples (overcomes sampling limitations) | Link to FRAC site
  •     Core analysis to fracture strike measures for all samples (overcomes sampling limitations) | Link to FRAC site
  •     Properly select and use outcrop analogs as guides to subsurface | Link to FRAC site