Characterization of pore structure and strain localization in Majella limestone by X-ray computed tomography and digital image correlation

Yuntao Ji, Stephen Hall, Patrick Baud, Teng-fong Wong

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Standard techniques for computed tomography imaging are not directly applicable to a carbonate rock because of the geometric complexity of its pore space. In this study, we first characterized the pore structure in Majella limestone with 30 per cent porosity. Microtomography data acquired on this rock was partitioned into three distinct domains: macropores, solid grains, and an intermediate domain made up of voxels of solid embedded with micropores below the resolution. A morphological analysis of the microtomography images shows that in Majella limestone both the solid and intermediate domains are interconnected in a manner similar to that reported previously in a less porous limestone. We however show that the macroporosity in Majella limestone is fundamentally different, in that it has a percolative backbone which may contribute significantly to its permeability. We then applied for the first time 3-D-volumetric digital image correlation (DIC) to characterize the mode of mechanical failure in this limestone. Samples were triaxially deformed over a wide range of confining pressures. Tomography imaging was performed on these samples before and after deformation. Inelastic compaction was observed at all tested pressures associated with both brittle and ductile behaviors. Our DIC analysis reveals the structure of compacting shear bands in Majella limestone deformed in the transitional regime. It also indicates an increase of geometric complexity with increasing confinement-from a planar shear band, to a curvilinear band, and ultimately to a diffuse multiplicity of bands, before shear localization is inhibited as the failure mode completes the transition to delocalized cataclastic flow.
Sidor (från-till)699-717
TidskriftGeophysical Journal International
StatusPublished - 2015

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