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Comments on progress in understanding brittle rock fracture and chemical change



Ten challenges in naturally fractured carbonates

Carbonate rocks are fascinating complex rocks that have challenged geologists for centuries. Natural fractures are a crucial part of this complexity. A huge amount of the world’s oil and gas reserves are stored in carbonate reservoirs. A fairly robust review estimated volumes of 50 to 60% (e.g., Garland et al. 2012). Examples of large oil…

A brief history of Structural Diagenesis

A brief history of Structural Diagenesis

Structural diagenesis is a new perspective on the interaction of mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. The roots of a structural diagenesis prospective are in research projects that have been in operation in Austin for more than two decades. Fracture and fault studies primarily rely on structural observations and interpretations…

Student Author of the Year Reception

Student Author of the Year Reception

On November 1 2019 in downtown Austin, Texas, Australian Natalie Debenham was awarded the Journal of Structural Geology’s “Student Author of the Year Award” for 2019. The award recognizes the work of the newest contributors to our discipline. The goal of offering the award is to encourage the publication of papers stemming from student research….

Chemistry and fracture pattern development

Chemistry and fracture pattern development

A review of the role of chemistry in fracture pattern development and of prospects for future research was recently published in Reviews of Geophysics. As a prestigious review publication by invitation only, Reviews of Geophysics provides a comprehensive overview of geophysics research. Fracture pattern development has been a challenging area of research in the earth…

Shale geomechanics

Shale geomechanics

Shale (or mudrock) geomechanics as well as natural and hydraulically induced fractures in shale continue to be areas of intense Structural Diagenesis Initiative research. Already in 2019, the Initiative has published 10 papers covering specific aspects of these topics. Additionally, a forward-looking overview paper in Reviews of Geophysics, Laubach et al., 2019, points to future…

Evidence of creep: Investigating the solution-precipitation process in fracture growth

Deformation mechanisms are the various processes, usually at the grain scale or smaller, that are responsible for accommodating penetrative strains in rocks. Under the low temperature (less than 300℃) conditions of sedimentary basins, grain-scale deformation processes are a part of diagenesis, the microstructural and chemical changes that turn sediments into rock and that through time…

Degradation

Degradation

At depth in the Earth, rocks are geochemically reactive environments. In the presence of hot water, both cement precipitation and dissolution can occur. In many rocks, cement deposits are a principal control on whether or not fractures are open. In sandstone, for example, core observations show that in a given play, field, or bed some…

Fractured basement

Fractured basement

Initiative researchers have for the first time quantified fractal clustering of fractures in basement rocks. The study demonstrates self-organized clustering over a length scale range from 10-2 to 101 m for opening-mode fractures in texturally homogeneous granitic rock in the Teton range, Wyoming. This example and the rigorous spatial arrangement method used in the study…

Clustered or random? A best paper award

An initiative paper will receive the AAPG Petroleum Structure & Geomechanics Division Best Recent Paper Award at the 2019 ACE meeting in San Antonio in May. The paper, Correlation analysis of fracture arrangement in space by Randy Marrett, Julia Gale, Leonel Gomez and Steve Laubach was published in the March 2018 issue of Journal of…

A note on fracture terms

A note on fracture terms

Natural fractures, the more or less planar discontinuities in rock, include faults and opening-mode fractures, based on displacement direction relative to the orientation of the fracture walls. A considerable part of SDI research focuses on opening-mode fractures. These are particularly challenging for reservoir simulation because they are difficult to sample and commonly below detection limits…

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