Theme 1: Characterization
Because microfractures in shale are diminutive features (10’s nm to cm), they are challenging to observe using traditional laboratory-based imaging systems and are often overlooked. Likewise, tight organic and inorganic matrix is difficult to image with conventional methods and interpret. Consequently, diverse imaging platforms, measurements, and image reconstruction algorithms are needed. Scientific advances in the ability to image fractures and fluid flow in shale will create unparalleled insights into the nature and properties of fractured shale. We shall acquire and analyze new microscopic 2D and 3D x-ray based computed tomographic images of source rocks to quantify percolating microcrack features within shale and integrate measurements as follows. The efforts in this characterization theme are key to establishing a common model of shale.