Pore-Scale Controls on Fluid Flow in Rock Salt
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February 14, 2017 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Marc Hesse, Computational Geoscientist, The University of Texas at Austin
Rock salt and glacier ice are two important examples of rocks that behave ductile under environmental conditions. Porous flow in ductile rocks is governed by different physical principles than fluid flow in rigid and elastic rocks. The pore space in these materials evolves to minimize the energy of the liquid-solid interfaces. Percolation of the pore fluid is therefore strongly dependent on its ability to wet the grain boundaries and we determine the percolation threshold with pore-scale simulations. X-ray microtomography of laboratory experiments demonstrates that changes in wettability can lead to brine percolation in rock salt. In natural systems, the percolation threshold is tough to prevent brine invasion into shallow rock salt......