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Effect of tomography resolution on the calculated microscopic properties of porous materials: Comparison of sandstone and carbonate rocks
F. Marone, C. Hintermüller, S. McDonald, R. Abela, G. Mikuljan, A. Isenegger, and M. Stampanoni, “ X-ray tomographic microscopy at TOMCAT,” Proc. SPIE 7078, 707822 (2008).
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R. Gooya, H. O. Sørensen, D. Müter, Y. Kanzaki, R. P. Harti, S. S. Hakim, K. N. Dalby, and S. L. S. Stipp, “ Pore Scale Analysis of Carbonate Rocks Using High Resolution X-ray Microtomography Images,” Geophys. J. Int. (to be published).
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X-ray computed tomography is useful for providing insight into the internal structure of porous materials. Extracting reliable quantitative information is difficult because the derived properties rely heavily on data resolution, i.e., very different values emerge, depending on the relationship between size of the features in the sample and the resolution of the 3D tomograms. Here, we present a method for testing if resolution is sufficient for determining reliable petrophysical parameters, i.e., with low levels of uncertainty. We derived the physical properties of sandstone and carbonate rocks over a range of voxel dimensions by computationally reducing raw data resolution in our high resolution images. Lower resolution decreases the calculated surface area for all samples and increases the derived permeability for sandstone. The permeability vs change in resolution was not monotonic for carbonates. The differences in trends for the two rock types result from different pore sizes and pore size distributions.
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