Reconstruction of in-situ porosity and porewater compositions of low-permeability crystalline rocks: Magnitude of artefacts induced by drilling and sample recovery

Meier, Daniela B.; Waber, H. Niklaus; Gimmi, Thomas; Eichinger, Florian; Diamond, Larryn William (2015). Reconstruction of in-situ porosity and porewater compositions of low-permeability crystalline rocks: Magnitude of artefacts induced by drilling and sample recovery. Journal of contaminant hydrology, 183, pp. 55-71. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2015.10.006

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Geological site characterisation programmes typically rely on drill cores for direct information on subsurface rocks. However, porosity, transport properties and porewater composition measured on drill cores can deviate from in-situ values due to two main artefacts caused by drilling and sample recovery: (1) mechanical disruption that increases porosity and (2) contamination of the porewater by drilling fluid. We investigated the effect and magnitude of these perturbations on large drill core samples (12–20 cm long, 5 cmdiameter) of high-grade, granitic gneisses obtained from 350 to 600 m depth in a borehole on Olkiluoto Island (SW Finland). The drilling fluid was traced with sodium–iodide. By combining out-diffusion experiments, gravimetry, UV-microscopy and iodide mass balance calculations, we successfully quantified the magnitudes of the artefacts: 2–6% increase in porosity relative to the bulk connected porosity and 0.9 to 8.9 vol.% contamination by drilling fluid. The spatial distribution of the drilling-induced perturbations was revealed by numerical simulations of 2D diffusion matched to the experimental data. This showed that the rims of the samples have a mechanically disrupted zone 0.04 to 0.22 cm wide, characterised by faster transport properties compared to the undisturbed centre (1.8 to 7.7 times higher pore diffusion coefficient). Chemical contamination was shown to affect an even wider zone in all samples, ranging from 0.15 to 0.60 cm, inwhich iodide enrichmentwas up to 180 mg/kgwater, compared to 0.5 mg/kgwater in the uncontaminated centre. For all samples in the present case study, it turned out that the magnitude of the artefacts caused by drilling and sample recovery is so small that no correction is required for their effects. Therefore, the standard laboratory measurements of porosity, transport properties and porewater composition can be taken as valid in-situ estimates. However, it is clear that the magnitudes strongly depend on site- and drilling-specific factors and therefore our results cannot be transferred simply to other locations. We recommend the approach presented in this study as a route to obtain reliable values in future drilling campaigns aimed at characterising in-situ bedrock properties.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences > Rock-Water Interaction

UniBE Contributor:

Meier, Daniela; Waber, Niklaus; Gimmi, Thomas; Eichinger, Florian and Diamond, Larryn William

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0169-7722

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Niklaus Waber

Date Deposited:

12 Nov 2015 11:49

Last Modified:

12 Nov 2015 11:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jconhyd.2015.10.006

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Drilling artefacts, Stress release, Diffusion, Porosity, Porewater

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.72902

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/72902

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