Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
Solid Earth, 7, 1243–1258, 2016

Special issue: Pore-scale tomography & imaging - applications, techniques...

Solid Earth, 7, 1243–1258, 2016

Method article 22 Aug 2016

Method article | 22 Aug 2016

On the path to the digital rock physics of gas hydrate-bearing sediments – processing of in situ synchrotron-tomography data

Kathleen Sell1, Erik H. Saenger2,3, Andrzej Falenty4, Marwen Chaouachi4, David Haberthür5, Frieder Enzmann1, Werner F. Kuhs4, and Michael Kersten1 Kathleen Sell et al.
  • 1Institute of Geosciences, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
  • 2International Geothermal Centre, Bochum, Germany
  • 3Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
  • 4GZG Crystallography, Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany
  • 5Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland

Abstract. To date, very little is known about the distribution of natural gas hydrates in sedimentary matrices and its influence on the seismic properties of the host rock, in particular at low hydrate concentration. Digital rock physics offers a unique approach to this issue yet requires good quality, high-resolution 3-D representations for the accurate modeling of petrophysical and transport properties. Although such models are readily available via in situ synchrotron radiation X-ray tomography, the analysis of such data asks for complex workflows and high computational power to maintain valuable results. Here, we present a best-practice procedure complementing data from Chaouachi et al. (2015) with data post-processing, including image enhancement and segmentation as well as exemplary numerical simulations of an acoustic wave propagation in 3-D using the derived results. A combination of the tomography and 3-D modeling opens a path to a more reliable deduction of properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments without a reliance on idealized and frequently imprecise models.