A Fracture Generating Algorithm for Micromodel Design

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For some years, the ITE utilizes the microfluidic technology to analyse fluid-fluid interactions at pore scale. The design of the artificial pore structures relies on µCT images of rock samples. Those are converted to binary images with customized pore and grain structures, which feature the porosity and permeability of the real rock. In order to model reservoir heterogeneities, low and high permeable areas can be realized in the same micromodel. Another common deformation are fractures. In a previous project, fractures were included into the design by cutting the image along connected pores and widening the gap along the newly generated cutting by hand. In this work the student is supposed to develop an algorithm, that generates a fracture or a specific fracture pattern by shifting the single grains while maintaining the properties of the initial binary image.


Based on the above introduction, the proposed thesis should include the following:

  1. Get familiar with the basics of microfluidics.
  2. Learn how the MatLab code in use develops the binary image from µCT images.
  3. Extend the code to include fractures with defined width to occur in the design connecting two or more specified points (either in MatLab or Phyton).
  4. Let the algorithm identify the generated fracture to calculate its length, width (average, minimum and maximum) as well as its tortuosity.


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  • C. Gaol, J. Wegner, L. Ganzer, N. Dopffel, F. Koegler, A. Borovina, H. Alkan, Investigation of Pore-Scale Mechanisms of Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery MEOR Using Microfluidics Application presented at the SPE Europec featured at 81st EAGE Conference and Exhibition, 3-6 June, London, England, UK, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2019. DOI:10.2118/195553-MS