Simulation of Rock Properties from Microstructure

A large effort of our group is directed towards modelling elastic properties of rocks from their microstructure. This approach has been made possible by recent advances in high-resolution X-ray imaging of rocks (down to 1 ?m) and by advances in computer technology which allow simulations on large 3D microtomographic images.

This approach has potential for a multitude of applications. Our current effort is mainly directed towards validation of existing theoretical effective-medium models, both for static and dynamic elastic properties.

For static properties, our current approach utilises Finite-Element simulations, and is focused on the validation of mixture models for fractured and porous rocks, velocity-porosity models, models of the effect of clay on the properties of sandstones. For dynamic properties, the effort is aimed at the validation of the models of local (squirt) and mesoscopic flow models.

The methodology here is based on the use of advanced Finite-Difference algorithms. The CRGC itself does not aim to develop any new numerical algorithms but cooperates with leading groups in 3D numerical simulations. However significant effort is applied to testing and validation of these algorithms using a variety of exact solutions, as well as adaptation of these algorithms to rock physics problems.
Researcher(s):
Prof. Boris Gurevich (B.Gurevich@curtin.edu.au)