Correlation between microstructure and permeability in sandstone rocks

S. Baraka-Lokmane*, I. G. Main, B. T. Ngwenya, S. C. Elphick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In this study, porosity and permeability measurements as well as petrographic examination of three sandstone reservoir samples (Fife and Locharbriggs sandstones both from southwest Scotland and Slick Rock Aeolian sandstone from Utah, United States) were used to evaluate the effect of mineralogy on permeability. The choice of three different types of sandstones that differ in grain size, porosity, and mineralogy will show that variations in the porous microstructure can be linked to the flow behavior of single fluids. These three groups of samples have undergone a wide range of detailed petrographical characterization. The results of the different methods used were found to be consistent with each other, and the combination of a variety of methods has allowed a full characterization of the rock and its impact on fluid flow. A positive correlation between liquid permeability and the volume fraction of silica (SiO2) is clearly demonstrated. Liquid permeability also increases with increasing mean grain size and porosity, and decreasing percentages of clay and cement. Liquid permeability was correlated using multi-variate regressions to one to five petrographical parameters, the results of which have useful application in the estimation of reservoir permeability where samples are not available for experimental testing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRock Mechanics
Subtitle of host publicationNew Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781617280177
ISBN (Print)9781606924594
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Laboratory study
  • Permeability
  • Petrography
  • Sandstone


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