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Joint elastic-electrical properties of clay-rich sediments with fluid-filled fractures

Project Description

Project Rationale:
Accurate characterization of shallow sub-seafloor geological reservoirs and overburden sediments is essential for geological CO2 storage, gas hydrate exploitation and monitoring of fluids and host sediment properties during gas production and CO2 storage activities. Elastic and electrical measurements are the most commonly used subsurface characterization and monitoring tools. Reliable sub-seafloor characterization depends on the accuracy of theoretical rock-physics models used for interpreting the remote geophysical survey data. Both elastic and electrical properties are affected by the pore-fluids and microstructure of the host sediment, and are linked in poorly defined ways for example through porosity and permeability. The presence of a small amount of gas can significantly attenuate elastic waves and increase electrical resistivity. Vertical gas migration through clay-rich sediments is thought to be controlled by fracture networks, hence leading to elastic and electrical anisotropy, further complicating joint elastic-electrical data interpretations. Hence, we propose to conduct a systematic laboratory study of the effect of fracture orientation, and fracture density on the joint elastic and electrical properties of clay-rich sediments such as clays and muds. Such well-constrained laboratory datasets are needed to validate and develop theoretical models used for sub-surface geophysical characterization.

Funding Notes

You can apply for fully-funded studentships (stipend and fees) from INSPIRE if you:
Are a UK or EU national.
Have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK.
Have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project.

Please click View Website for more information on eligibilty and how to apply


Han, Tongcheng; Best, Angus I.; Sothcott, Jeremy; MacGregor, Lucy M.. 2011 Joint elastic-electrical properties of reservoir sandstones and their relationships with petrophysical parameters. Geophysical Prospecting, 59 (3). 518-535.

Amalokwu, Kelvin; Chapman, Mark; Best, Angus I.; Minshull, Timothy A.; Li, Xiang. 2015 Water saturation effects on P-wave anisotropy in synthetic sandstone with aligned fractures. Geophysical Journal International, 202 (2). 1088-1095.

Falcon Suarez, Ismael Himar; Amalokwu, Kelvin; Delgado-Martin, Jordi; Callow, Ben; Robert, Katleen; North, Laurence; Sahoo, Sourav K.; Best, Angus I.. 2018 Comparison of stress-dependent geophysical, hydraulic and mechanical properties of synthetic and natural sandstones for reservoir characterization and monitoring studies. Geophysical Prospecting, 67 (4). 784-803.

How good is research at University of Southampton in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 68.62

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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