In this work, we found that contact between shale and water results in development of micro fractures. Based on results of experiments on Pierre shale, we conclude that appearance of micro fractures begin with saturation of capillaries, followed by ionic and diffusive transport of water into the shale clays. Once capillaries are saturated, the cause of micro fracture propagation is the conversion of ionic activity/exchange to excess pressure that did not exist before fracking. Based on these findings, the spread of micro fractures appear to be a time-dependent phenomenon that has not been addressed in the existing macro/micro fracture models.
The reason behind water adsorption/absorption is hydration energy of clays that are a part of shale. This hydration energy can also be termed as Gibbs free energy, which is directly proportional to Hayatdavoudi Hydration Index. The author believes that it is the number of oxygen molecules inside the cell structure and that contributed by the water monolayer of the clay structure.
|Commitee:||Boukadi, Fathi, Seibi, Abdennour|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 55/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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