The caved zone during longwall mining has high permeability, resulting in a mass of groundwater storage which causes a threat of groundwater inrush hazard to the safe mining. To investigate the hazard mechanism of granular sandstone and mudstone mixture (SMM) in caved zone, this paper presents an experimental study on the effect of sandstone particle (SP) and mudstone particle (MP) weight ratio on the non-Darcy hydraulic properties evolution. A self-designed granular rock seepage experimental equipment has been applied to conduct the experiments. The variation of particle size distribution was induced by loading and water seepage during the test, which indicated that the particle crushing and erosion properties of mudstone were higher than those of sandstone. Porosity evolution of SMM was strongly influenced by loading (sample height) and SP/MP weight ratio. The sample with higher sample height and higher weight ratio of SP achieved higher porosity value. In particular, a non-Darcy equation, for hydraulic properties (permeability κ and non-Darcy coefficient ζ) calculation, was sufficient to fit the relation between the hydraulic gradient and seepage velocity. The test results indicated that, due to the absence and narrowing of fracture and void during loading, the permeability κ decreases and the non-Darcy coefficient ζ increases. The variation of the hydraulic properties of the sample within the same particle size and SP/MP weight ratio indicated that groundwater inrush hazard showed a higher probability of occurrence in sandstone strata and crushed zone (e.g., faults). Moreover, isolated fractures and voids were able to achieve the changeover from self-extension to interconnection at the last loading stage, which caused the fluctuation tendency of κ and ζ. Fluctuation ability in mudstone was higher than that in sandstone. The performance of an empirical model was also investigated for the non-Darcy hydraulic properties evolution prediction of crushing and seepage processes. The predictive results indicated that particle crushing and water erosion caused the increase of hydraulic properties, being the main reason that the experimental values are typically higher than those obtained from the predictive model. The empirical model has a high degree of predictive accuracy; however, κ has a higher predictive accuracy than ζ. Furthermore, the predictive accuracy of κ increases and ζ decreases with increasing weight ratio of SP.
When the collapse column and its adjacent rocks in complex geological structures are disturbed by mining, concomitant fine particle migration, mass loss, and porous structure variation during the water seepage process in broken rocks are the inherent causes for collapse column activation and water inrush. Studying the time-varying characteristics of the mass-loss rate in the dynamic seepage system of the broken rocks is of theoretical importance for the prevention of water inrush from the collapse columns. In this study, the seepage tests of the broken mudstone were carried out using the patented pumping station seepage method, and the time-varying function of the mass-loss rate was generalized. Then, the optimal coefficients in the function of mass-loss rate were computed using the genetic algorithm. At last, the mass-loss rate in the dynamic seepage system of the broken rocks with consideration of the acceleration factor was calculated using Lagrange discrete element method. The results showed that (1) the mass-loss rate was expressed as a time-dependent, exponential function with its coefficient related to the porosity, and its time-varying characteristics were affected by gradation; (2) the time-varying curves with Talbol power exponents less than 0.6 had a rapid change stage and a slow change stage, while the time-varying curves with Talbol power exponents greater than 0.6 had an initial gradual change stage, a rapid change stage and a slow change stage; (3) at the early seepage stage, the mass-loss rate decreased with Talbol power exponent increasing; and (4) after long time seepage, the massloss rate was close to zero and unrelated to Talbol power exponent, and the porous structure in broken rocks remained stable with its porosity close to a certain stable value.
This paper investigated fractal characteristics of microscale and nanoscale pore structures in carbonates using High-Pressure Mercury Intrusion (HPMI). Firstly, four different fractal models, i.e., 2D capillary tube model, 3D capillary tube model, geometry model, and thermodynamic model, were used to calculate fractal dimensions of carbonate core samples from HPMI curves. Afterwards, the relationships between the calculated fractal dimensions and carbonate petrophysical properties were analysed. Finally, fractal permeability model was used to predict carbonate permeability and then compared with Winland permeability model. The research results demonstrate that the calculated fractal dimensions strongly depend on the fractal models used. Compared with the other three fractal models, 3D capillary tube model can effectively reflect the fractal characteristics of carbonate microscale and nanoscale pores. Fractal dimensions of microscale pores positively correlate with fractal dimensions of the entire carbonate pores, yet negatively correlate with fractal dimensions of nanoscale pores. Although nanoscale pores widely develop in carbonates, microscale pores have greater impact on the fractal characteristics of the entire pores. Fractal permeability model is applicable in predicting carbonate permeability, and compared with the Winland permeability model, its calculation errors are acceptable.
As a result of complex tectonic background, shale gas in China exhibits differential enrichment. Choosing a favorable exploration target accurately is a crucial problem to be solved. In this study, the tests show that there is a superior transportation pathway within shale layer. Gas in the shale layer percolates much more in the direction parallel to the plane. Therefore, the accumulation pattern of shale gas indicates a complex tectonic background. Gas in the lower part of the structure diffuses and percolates in the vertical direction into the surrounding rock. Most gas percolates towards the high part of the structure in the direction parallel to the plane. When the shale was exposed, gas percolated along the parallel direction into the air. In the case of fracture development, if there is a reverse fault, gas would be enriched in the footwall. However, if there is an unsealed fault, it would become a pathway for gas migration. The above accumulation pattern was proved in several Areas. Also, this research presented a basis of evaluation units division. According to the buried depth, fractures, and structural position, Xiuwu Basin was divided into five evaluation units and Unit A3 is the most favorable exploration target.
We imaged water-wet and oil-wet sandstones under two-phase flow conditions for different flooding states by means of X-ray computed microtomography (mu CT) with a spatial resolution of 2.1 mu m/pixel. We systematically study pore-scale trapping of the nonwetting phase as well as size and distribution of its connected clusters and disconnected globules. We found a lower S-or, 19.8%, for the oil-wet plug than for water-wet plug (25.2%). Approximate power-law distributions of the water and oil cluster sizes were observed in the pore space. Besides, the tau value of the wetting phase gradually decreased and the nonwetting phase gradually increased during the core-flood experiment. The remaining oil has been divided into five categories; we explored the pore fluid occupancies and studied size and distribution of the five types of trapped oil clusters during different drainage stage. The result shows that only the relative volume of the clustered oil is reduced, and the other four types of remaining oil all increased. Pore structure, wettability, and its connectivity have a significant effect on the trapped oil distribution. In the water sandstone, the trapped oil tends to occupy the center of the larger pores during the water imbibition process, leading to a stable specific surface area and a gradually decreasing oil capillary pressure. Meanwhile, in oil-wet sandstone, the trapped oil blobs that tend to occupy the pores corner and attach to the walls of the pores have a large specific surface area, and the change of the oil capillary pressure was not obvious. These results have revealed the well-known complexity of multiphase flow in rocks and preliminarily show the pore-level displacement physics of the process.
Porosity and permeability of two typical sedimentary rocks in coal bearing strata of underground coal mines in China, i.e., mudrocks and fine-grained sandstones, were comprehensively investigated by multiple experimental methods. Measured porosity averages of the helium gas porosity (phi(g)), MIP porosity (phi(MIP)), water porosity (phi(w)), and NMR porosity (phi(NMR)) of the twelve investigated rock samples range from 1.78 to 16.50% and the measured gas permeabilities (K-g) range from 0.0003 to 2.4133 mD. Meanwhile, pore types, pore morphologies, and pore size distributions (PSD) were determined by focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), and low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). FIB-SEM image analyses showed that the mineral matrix pores including interparticle (interP) and intraparticle (intraP) pores with varied morphologies are the dominant pore types of the investigated rock samples while very few organic matter (OM) pores were observed. Results of the MIP and the full water-saturated NMR measurements showed that the PSD curves of the mudrock samples mostly present a unimodal pattern and nanopores with pore diameter less than 0.1 mu m are their predominant pore type, while the PSD curves of the fine-grained sandstone samples are featured by a bimodal distribution. Furthermore, comparison of the full water-saturated and irreducible-water-saturated NMR measurements indicated that pores in the mudrocks are solely adsorption pores (normally pore size 0.1 mu m). Moreover, the PSD curves of NMR quantitatively converted from the NMR T-2 spectra by T2Pc and weighted arithmetic mean (WAM) methods are in good agreement with the PSD curves of MIP. Finally, the applicability of three classic permeability estimation models based on MIP and NMR data to the investigated rock samples was evaluated.
Due to the periodicity of mine pressure, it can easily lead to a wide-range damage of the overburden rock under shallow coal mining conditions, and the falling of the overburden rock is usually a serious threat to the mining safety. Based on the monitoring data of mine pressure in a typical shallow coal mine in northern China, the mechanical model of the surrounding rock in the mining field was built and the identification indicators of the pressure arch after coal mining was defined. Then, the arching mechanism, the stress distribution characteristics in different positions, and the bearing capacity of the pressure arch were analysed, and the evolution characteristics of the pressure arch under shallow horizontal coal mining were verified by numerical simulation and physical experiment. Results show that there is a core-bearing zone in the pressure arch, and the width of the core zone determines the bearing capacity of the pressure arch. The evolution of the pressure arch affects the formation and development of the caving arch of the loose zone in the mining field. The conclusions obtained in the study are of important theoretical value to direct the similar engineering practice.
Nowadays, drought phenomena increasingly affect large areas of the globe; therefore, the need for a careful and rational management of water resources is becoming more pressing. Considering that most of the world's unfrozen freshwater reserves are stored in aquifers, the capability of prediction of spring discharges is a crucial issue. An approach based on water balance is often extremely complicated or ineffective. A promising alternative is represented by data-driven approaches. Recently, many hydraulic engineering problems have been addressed by means of advanced models derived from artificial intelligence studies. Three different machine learning algorithms were used for spring discharge forecasting in this comparative study: M5P regression tree, random forest, and support vector regression. The spring of Rasiglia Alzabove, Umbria, Central Italy, was selected as a case study. The machine learning models have proven to be able to provide very encouraging results. M5P provides good short-term predictions of monthly average flow rates (e.g., in predicting average discharge of the spring after 1 month, R2=0.991, RAE=14.97%, if a 4-month input is considered), while RF is able to provide accurate medium-term forecasts (e.g., in forecasting average discharge of the spring after 3 months, R2=0.964, RAE=43.12%, if a 4-month input is considered). As the time of forecasting advances, the models generally provide less accurate predictions. Moreover, the effectiveness of the models significantly depends on the duration of the period considered for input data. This duration should be close to the aquifer response time, approximately estimated by cross-correlation analysis.
The widely used application of horizontal well makes it significant to effectively evaluate rate performance of horizontal well in oil and gas reservoir. However, most models in previous work only focus on rate decline analysis (RDA) of horizontal well with single section (HWSS); they hardly address the problem that production rate distributes nonuniformly along horizontal wellbore in analyzing rate transient behaviors. However, only some horizontal segments contribute to the total production rates, and the production of each section along horizontal wellbore is not the same in fact, which may be caused by reservoir heterogeneity, selective completion, and nonuniform formation damage along horizontal wellbore. Therefore, the effect of these phenomena on rate decline characteristics cannot be ignored. The aim of this paper is to propose an analytical model to investigate transient rate response of a horizontal well with multiple sections (HWMS). The compound type curves, including the normalized production curve, the normalized production integral curve, and the production integral derivative curve, are developed to distinguish the different cases. The influences of some sensitive parameters on decline curves are further discussed. Results show obvious differences on the decline curves between the HWMS and HWSS. The parameters are sensitive on decline curves, which explore the feasible application on production performance evaluation and parameters interpretation through history matching the production data with the compound type curves in this paper.
In this study, proppant pillar deformation and stability during the fracturing fluid flowback of channel fracturing was simulated with DEM-CFD- (discrete element method-computational fluid dynamics-) coupling method. Fibers were modeled by implementing the bonded particle model for contacts between particles. In the hydraulic fracture-closing period, the height of the proppant pillar decreases gradually and the diameter increases as the closing stress increases. In the fracturing fluid flowback period, proppant particles could be driven away from the pillar by the fluid flow and cause the instability of the proppant pillar. The proppant flowback could occur easily with large proppant pillar height or a large fluid pressure gradient. Both the pillar height and the pillar diameter to spacing ratio are key parameters for the design of channel fracturing. Increasing the fiber-bonding strength could enhance the stability of the proppant pillar.
It has long been recognized that quartz precipitation from circulating hydrothermal fluids may reduce porosity and permeability near intrusions. However, the magnitude of permeability changes and potential feedbacks between flow, heat transfer, and quartz precipitation/dissolution remain largely unquantified. Here, we present numerical simulations of fluid convection around upper crustal intrusions which explicitly incorporate the feedback between quartz solubility and rock permeability. As groundwater is heated to similar to 350 degrees C, silica dissolves from the host rock, increasing porosity and permeability. Further heating to supercritical conditions leads to intensive quartz precipitation and consequent permeability reduction. The initial host rock permeability and porosity are found to be main controls on the magnitude and timescales of permeability changes. While the permeability changes induced by quartz precipitation are moderate in host rocks with a primary porosity >= 0.05, quartz precipitation may reduce rock permeability by more than an order of magnitude in host rocks with a primary porosity of 0.025. Zones of quartz precipitation transiently change locations as the intrusion cools, thereby limiting the clogging effect, except for host rocks with low initial porosity. This permeability reduction occurs in timescales of hundreds of years in host rocks with initial high permeability and thousands of years in host rocks with intermediate permeability.
Although the impact of Karst Collapse Pillars (KCPs) on water inrush has been widely recognized and studied, few have investigated the fluid-solid interaction, the particles migration inside KCPs, and the evolution feature of water inrush channels. Moreover, an effective approach to reliably predict the water inrush time has yet to be developed. In this work, a suite of fully coupled governing equations considering the processes of water flow, fracture erosion, and the change of rock permeability due to erosion were presented. The inverse velocity theory was then introduced to predict the water inrush time under different geological and flow conditions. The impact of four different controlling factors on the fracture geometry change, water flow, and inrush time was discussed in detail. The results showed that the inverse velocity theory was capable of predicting the occurrences of water inrush under different conditions, and the time of water inrush had a power relationship with the rock heterogeneity, water pressure, and initial particle concentration and an exponential relationship with the initial fracture apertures. The general approach developed in this work can be extended to other engineering applications such as the tunneling and tailing dam erosion.
The Beauvoir granite (Massif Central, France) represents an exceptional case in the European Variscan belt of a peraluminous raremetal granite crosscutting an early W stockwork. The latter was strongly overprinted by rare-metal magmatic-hydrothermal fluids derived from the Beauvoir granite, resulting in a massive topazification of the quartz-ferberite vein system. This work presents a complete study of primary fluid inclusions hosted in quartz and topaz from the Beauvoir granite and the metasomatized stockwork, in order to characterize the geochemical composition of the magmatic fluids exsolved during the crystallization of this evolved rare-metal peraluminous granite. Microthermometric and Raman spectrometry data show that the earliest fluid (L1) is of high temperature (500 to >600 degrees C), high salinity (17-28 wt.% NaCl eq), and Li-rich (T-e 100 m) and interaction with external fluids.
A governing equation of drawdown was put forward to describe the one-dimensional large-strain consolidation behavior of an aquitard without consideration of the creeping effect. An analytical solution was derived to characterize the drawdown variation in the aquitard subjected to sudden hydraulic head decline in adjacent confined aquifer. The characteristics of the groundwater dynamics and water balance in the aquitard have been analyzed based on the analytical solution. A comparison analysis of results has been made between the large-strain theory and the classical small-strain theory. The type-curve fitting method was used to determine the hydrogeological parameters, on the basis of the observed variations of aquitard deformation with time. The analytical solution was thus validated by a comparison with the observed experimental results. It is found that the water drainage of aquitard is obviously delayed in response to the water head decline in the adjacent aquifer. All delayed water release from the aquitard terminates when the consolidation time reaches the value of l(2)/c(v0). The aquitard deformation predicted by the large-strain theory is less than that given by the small-strain theory, and the prediction discrepancy of these two theories increases with the increasing soil compressibility.
The effects of geologic conditions and production methods on gas production from hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS) have been widely investigated. The reservoir was usually treated as horizontal distribution, whereas the sloping reservoir was not considered. In fact, most strata have gradients because of the effects of geological structure and diagenesis. In this study, based on currently available geological data from field measurements in Shenhu area of the South China Sea, the effects of formation dip on gas production were investigated through depressurization using a horizontal well. The modeling results indicate that the strategy of horizontal well is an effective production method from the unconfined Class 2 HBS. The predicted cumulative volume of methane produced at the 1000m horizontal well was 4.51 x 10(7) ST m(3) over 5-year period. The hydrate dissociation behavior of sloping formation is sensitive to changes in the reservoir pressure. As in unconfined marine hydrate reservoir, the sloping formation is not conducive to free methane gas recovery, which results in more dissolved methane produced at the horizontal well. The obvious issue for this challenging target is relatively low exploitation efficiency of methane because of the recovery of very large volumes of water. Consequently, the development of the favorable well completion method to prevent water production is significantly important for realizing large scale hydrate exploitation in the future.
In geochemically reacting environments, the mineral dissolution and precipitation alters the structural and transport properties of the media of interest. The chemical and structural heterogeneities of the porous media affect the temporal evolution of the permeability with respect to porosity. Such correlations follow a nonlinear trend, which is difficult to estimate a priori and without knowledge of the microstructure itself, especially under the presence of strong chemical gradients. Macroscopic field-scale codes require such an input, and in the absence of exact descriptions, simplified correlations are used. After highlighting the diversity of microstructural evolution paths, due to dissolution, we discuss possible upscaling strategies.
Abrasive gas jet technologies are efficient and beneficial and are widely used to drill metal and glass substrates. When the inlet pressure is increased, gas jets could be powerful enough to break rock. They have potential uses in coal-bed methane exploration and drilling because of their one-of-a-kind nonliquid jet drilling, which avoids water invasion and borehole collapse. Improving the efficiency of rock breakage using abrasive gas jets is an essential precondition for future coal-bed methane exploration. The nuzzle structure is vital to the flow field and erosion rate. Furthermore, optimizing the nozzle structure for improving the efficiency of rock breakage is essential. By combining aerodynamics and by fixing the condition of the nozzle in the drill bit, we design four types of preliminary nozzles. The erosion rates of the four nozzles are calculated by numerical simulation, enabling us to conclude that a nozzle at Mach 3 can induce maximum erosion when the pressure is 25 MPa. Higher pressures cannot improve erosion rates because the shield effect decreases the impact energy. Smaller pressures cannot accelerate erosion rates because of short expansion waves and low velocities of the gas jets. An optimal nozzle structure is promoted with extended expansion waves and less obvious shield effects. To further optimize the nozzle structure, erosion rates at various conditions are calculated using the single-variable method. The optimal nozzle structure is achieved by comparing the erosion rates of different nozzle structures. The experimental results on rock erosion are in good agreement with the numerical simulations. The optimal nozzle thus creates maximum erosion volume and depth.
China has over 1500 open-pit mines and 5000 dumps consisting of waste rock from the mining process. Due to dump instability in an open-pit mine and its diverse foundations, landslides and mudslides frequently occur. Heaped loose waste rock and concentrated heavy rainfalls are the two important factors affecting slope stability of a dump. Using the high Dump II within the Nanfen Open-Pit Iron Mine with a slope height of 300 m as a case study, this paper first proposes a physical model similarity ratio according to the on-site engineering geological survey data. The governing principles of deformation in the shallow dump layers in terms of different heaped loads and rainfall were then determined using fiber optic sensing to conduct an experimental study on the monitoring of the dump stability with an indoor physical model. Experimental results confirm that the amount of rainfall and heaped load has a great impact on the landslide in a dump. With an increase in the amount of material heaped onto the pile, the place between two heaped load points is squeezed and slowly deformed. As rainfall begins, the deformation of the rock-soil mass is significant, and constantly increasing rainfall intensity is accompanied by a dangerous sliding surface. Finally, the FLAC3D method was used to simulate the deformation features in the shallow part of Dump II under different heaped load conditions and verify the experimental results of the indoor physical model. By comparing the physical model experiments and numerical simulation results, we propose monitoring the stability of Dump II using this fiber optic sensing technology and provide the scientific basis for stability monitoring of similar dumps to detect the early warning signs of mudslides or landslides.
Comprehensive mechanization solid backfilling mining is a new technology developed in China for coal mining and surface subsidence control. Based on a gangue-backfilling project in the Yangzhuang Coal Mine, the characteristics of underlying strata and surface deformation were studied by similar-material simulation method. When the ratio of the sponge to foam was 1:3, the mixture can simulate well the deformation characteristics of gangues in the similar-material model. On this basis, the movement and deformation characteristics of the overlying strata caused by gangue-backfilling mining were studied. The findings indicate that compared with caving mining, the expansion coefficient of overlying strata, the interlayer fracture, and the subsidence value were smaller in backfilling mining, with the integral overlying strata subsidence occurring. Meanwhile, the reduction ratio of surface subsidence after backfilling mining was more than 85%, verified by the subsidence-monitoring results. The research outcomes in this paper have significance for coal resource exploitation of similar mines around the world.
Shale gas reservoir is a typical type of unconventional gas reservoir, primarily because of the complex flow mechanism from nanoscale to macroscale. A triple-porosity model (M3 model) comprising kerogen system, matrix system, and natural fracture system was presented to describe the multispace scale, multitime scale, and multiphysics characteristic of gas flows in shale reservoir. Apparent permeability model for real gas transport in nanopores, which covers flow regime effect and geomechanical effect, was used to address multiscale flow in shale matrix. This paper aims at quantifying the shale gas in different scales and its sequence in the process of gas production. The model results used for history matching also showed consistency against gas production data from the Barnett Shale. It also revealed the multispace scale process of gas production from a single well, which is supplied by gas transport from natural fracture, matrix, and kerogen sequentially. Sensitivity analysis on the contributions of shale reservoir permeability in different scales gives some insight as to their importance. Simulated results showed that free gas in matrix contributes to the main source of gas production, while the performance of a gas shale well is strongly determined by the natural fracture permeability.