Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Thursday January 24, 2019 11:00 AM

Seismicity-Permeability Coupling in Reservoirs and Caprocks

Speaker: Derek Elsworth, Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
Location: Gates-Thomas 135

Contemporary methods of energy conversions that reduce carbon intensity include sequestering CO2, fuel switching to lower-carbon sources, such as from gas shales, and recovering deep geothermal energy via EGS. In all of these endeavors, either maintaining the low permeability and integrity of caprocks or in controlling the growth of permeability in initially very-low-permeability shales and geothermal reservoirs represent key desires. At short-timescales of relevance, permeability is driven principally by deformations – in turn resulting from changes in total stresses, fluid pressure or thermal and chemical effects. These deformations may be intrinsically stable or unstable, result in aseismic or seismic deformation, with resulting changes in permeability conditioned by the deformational mode. We report experiments and models to represent the respective roles of mineralogy, texture, scale and overpressures on the evolution of friction, stability and permeability in fractured rocks, and their consequences on fluid production, containment and induced seismicity.

Series Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar

Contact: Carolina Oseguera at 626-395-4271 susta@caltech.edu