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Enhanced deformation of limestone and sandstone in the presence of high Pco2 fluids

Abstract : Geological repositories subject to the injection of large amounts of anthropogenic carbon dioxide will undergo chemical and mechanical instabilities for which there are currently little experimental data. This study reports on experiments where low and high P co 2 (8 MPa) aqueous fluids were injected into natural rock samples. The experiments were performed in flow-through triaxial cells, where the vertical and confining stresses, temperature, and pressure and composition of the fluid were separately controlled and monitored. The axial vertical strains of two limestones and one sandstone were continuously measured during separate experiments for several months, with a strain rate resolution of 10 À11 s À1. Fluids exiting the triaxial cells were continuously collected and their compositions analyzed. The high P co 2 fluids induced an increase in strain rates of the limestones by up to a factor of 5, compared to the low P co 2 fluids. Injection of high P co 2 fluids into the sandstone resulted in deformation rates one order of magnitude smaller than the limestones. The creep accelerating effect of high P co 2 fluids with respect to the limestones was mainly due to the acidification of the injected fluids, resulting in a significant increase in solubility and reaction kinetics of calcite. Compared to the limestones, the much weaker response of the sandstone was due to the much lower solubility and reactivity of quartz in high P co 2 fluids. In general, all samples showed a positive correlation between fluid flow rate and strain rate. X-ray tomography results revealed significant increases in porosity at the inlet portion of each core; the porosity increases were dependent on the original lithological structure and composition. The overall deformation of the samples is interpreted in terms of simultaneous dissolution reactions in pore spaces and intergranular pressure solution creep.
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Y. Le Guen, F. Renard, R. Hellmann, E. Brosse, M. Collombet, et al.. Enhanced deformation of limestone and sandstone in the presence of high Pco2 fluids. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2007, 112 (B05421), pp.NIL_213-NIL_233. ⟨10.1029/2006JB004637⟩. ⟨insu-00198997⟩

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