Computer modeling bioturbation: the creation of porous and permeable fluid-flow pathways

La Croix, Andrew D. , Gingras, Murray K. , Dashtgard, Shahin E. and Pemberton, S. George (2012) Computer modeling bioturbation: the creation of porous and permeable fluid-flow pathways. AAPG Bulletin, 96 3: 545-556. doi:10.1306/07141111038


Author La Croix, Andrew D.
Gingras, Murray K.
Dashtgard, Shahin E.
Pemberton, S. George
Title Computer modeling bioturbation: the creation of porous and permeable fluid-flow pathways
Journal name AAPG Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0149-1423
1558-9153
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1306/07141111038
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 96
Issue 3
Start page 545
End page 556
Total pages 12
Place of publication Tulsa, OK, United States
Publisher American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Computer modeling of trace fossils (Skolithos, Thalassinoides, Planolites, Zoophycos, and Phycosiphon) and ichnofacies (Skolithos, Cruziana, and Zoophycos ichnofacies) is undertaken to assess the impact of bioturbation on porosity and permeability trends in sedimentary media. Model volumes are randomly populated with the digitally modeled trace fossils to test for connectivity between burrows. The probability of vertical and lateral interconnections is compared with bioturbation intensity.

The results of the simulations indicate that biogenic flow networks develop at low bioturbation intensity, between 10 and 27.5% bioturbation (BI-2). However, the efficiency of connectivity is controlled by the architecture of the burrows. For all trace-fossil and ichnofacies models, regardless of trace-fossil orientation, continuous horizontal and vertical connectivity across the sediment volume is achieved within a 0 to 10% range in bioturbation.

In subsurface aquifers and petroleum reservoirs, the presence of bioturbation can significantly influence fluid flow. In particular, for marine sedimentary rocks, where burrows are more permeable than the surrounding matrix, a greater degree of three-dimensional burrow connectivity can produce preferred fluid-flow pathways through the rock. Recognizing these flow conduits may enable optimization of resource exploitation or may contribute to increasing reserve estimates from previously interpreted nonreservoir rock.
Keyword Classification
Quality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Office of the Vice-Chancellor
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 12:55:44 EST by Andrew La Croix on behalf of UQ Energy Initiative