The impact of different clay minerals on the anisotropy of clay matrix in shale
C.M. Sayers and L.D. den Boer
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 67, No 9, November 2019 pp. 2298 - 2318
Info: Article, PDF ( 4.86Mb )
Although clay is composed of disconnected anisotropic clay platelets, many rock physics models treat the clay platelets in shale as interconnected. However, the clay matrix in shales can be modelled as anisotropic clay platelets embedded within a soft isotropic interplatelet region, allowing the influence of disconnected clay platelets on the elastic properties of the clay matrix to be analysed. In this model, properties of the interplatelet region are governed by its effective bulk and shear moduli, whereas the effective properties of the clay platelets are governed by their volume fraction, aspect ratio and elastic stiffness tensor. Together, these parameters implicitly account for variations in clay and fluid properties, as well as fluid saturation. Elastic stiffnesses of clay platelets are obtained from the literature, including both experimental measurements and first-principles calculations of the full anisotropic (monoclinic or triclinic) elastic stiffness tensors of layered silicates. These published elastic stiffness tensors are used to compile a database of equivalent transverse isotropic elastic stiffness tensors, and other physical properties, for eight common varieties of layered silicates. Clay matrix anisotropy is then investigated by examining the influence of these different elastic stiffnesses, and of varying model parameters, upon the effective transverse isotropic elastic stiffness tensor of the clay matrix. The relationship between the different clay minerals and their associated anisotropy parameters is studied, and their impact on the resulting anisotropy of the clay matrix is analysed.