Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experimental deformation in sandstone, carbonates and quartz aggregate
by Cheung, See Nga Cecilia, Ph.D., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2015, 118; 3717020
Abstract (Summary)

The first part of my thesis is mainly focused on the effect of grain size distribution on compaction localization in porous sandstone. To identify the microstructural parameters that influence compaction band formation, I conducted a systematic study of mechanical deformation, failure mode and microstructural evolution in Bleurswiller and Boise sandstones, of similar porosity (∼25%) and mineralogy but different sorting. Discrete compaction bands were observed to develop over a wide range of pressure in the Bleurswiller sandstone that has a relatively uniform grain size distribution. In contrast, compaction localization was not observed in the poorly sorted Boise sandstone. My results demonstrate that grain size distribution exerts important influence on compaction band development, in agreement with recently published data from Valley of Fire and Buckskin Gulch, as well as numerical studies.

The second part aimed to improve current knowledge on inelastic behavior, failure mode and brittle-ductile transition in another sedimentary rock, porous carbonates. A micritic Tavel (porosity of ∼13%) and an allochemical Indiana (∼18%) limestones were deformed under compaction in wet and dry conditions. At lower confining pressures, shear localization occurred in brittle faulting regime. Through transitional regime, the deformation switched to cataclastic flow regime at higher confining pressure. Specifically in the cataclastic regime, the (dry and wet) Tavel and dry Indiana failed by distributed cataclastic flow, while in contrast, wet Indiana failed as compaction localization. My results demonstrate that different failure modes and mechanical behaviors under different deformation regimes and water saturation are fundamental prior to any geophysical application in porous carbonates.

The third part aimed to focus on investigating compaction on quartz aggregate starting at low (MPa) using X-ray diffraction. We report the diffraction peak evolution of quartz with increasing pressures. Through evaluating the unit cell lattice parameters and the volume of the quartz sample, macroscopic stress and strain were resolved. Moreover, we observed quartz peak broadened asymmetrically at low pressure, such extent is more prominent in axial than in radial direction. Our evaluation on peak [101] (highest intensity among peaks) demonstrated that full width at half maximum can be a good proxy for microscopic stress distribution. We observed deviations in the pressure-volume curves at P = ∼0.4 GPa and speculated that it was the point of which onset of grain crushing and pore collapse occur in quartz. This is on the same order of which onset of grain crushing (commonly known as P*) is observed in sandstones in the rock mechanics literature. This demonstrated that there is potential in estimating grain crushing and pore collapse pressure with our technique.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weidner, Donald J.
Commitee: Davis, Daniel M., Ehm, Lars, Meredith, Philip G., Stidham, Christiane
School: State University of New York at Stony Brook
Department: Geosciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geology, Geophysics, Geophysical
Keywords: Compression, Failure mode, Rock mechanics, Strain localisation, Stress heterogeneity, X-ray diffraction
Publication Number: 3717020
ISBN: 978-1-321-96326-7
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