The chemo-mechanical loading of rocks causes the dissolution and precipitation of multiple phases in the rock. This dissolution and precipitation of load-bearing mineral phases lead to the stress redistribution in neighboring phases, which in turn results in deformational changes of the sample composite. The aim of this study is to investigate the link between microstructural evolution and creep behavior of shale rocks subjected to chemo-mechanical loading through modeling time-dependent deformation induced by the dissolution-precipitation process. The model couples the microstructural evolution of the shale rocks with the stress/strain fields inside the material as a function of time. The modeling effort is supplemented with an experimental study where shale rocks were exposed to CO2-rich brine under high temperature and pressure conditions. 3D snapshots of the sample microstructure were generated using segmented micro-CT images of the shale sample. The time-evolving microstructures were then integrated with the Finite element-based mechanical model to simulate the creep induced by dissolution and precipitation processes independent of the intrinsic viscoelasticity/viscoplasticity of the mineral phases. After computation of the time-dependent viscoelastic properties of the shale composite, the combined microstructure model and finite element model were utilized to predict the time-dependent stress and strain fields in different zones ofmore »
Determination of viscous behavior of shale rocks is key in wide range of applications such as stability of reservoirs, stability of geo-structures subjected to environmental forcing, underground storage of hazardous materials and hydraulic fracturing. Short-term creep strains in hydraulic fracturing can change stress fields and in turn can impact the hydraulic fracturing procedures(H. Sone & Zoback, 2010; Hiroki Sone & Zoback, 2013). While long-term creep strains can hamper the reservoir performance due to the reduction in permeability of the reservoir by closing of fractures and fissures(Du, Hu, Meegoda, & Zhang, 2018; Rybacki, Meier, & Dresen, 2016; Sharma, Prakash, & Abedi, 2019; Hiroki Sone & Zoback, 2014). Owing to these significance of creep strain, it is important to understand the viscoelastic/viscoplastic behavior of shales.