Determination of diffusion profiles in altered wellbore cement using X-ray computed tomography methods

Harris E. Mason, Stuart D C Walsh, Wyatt L. Dufrane, Susan A. Carroll

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The development of accurate, predictive models for use in determining wellbore integrity requires detailed information about the chemical and mechanical changes occurring in hardened Portland cements. X-ray computed tomography (XRCT) provides a method that can nondestructively probe these changes in three dimensions. Here, we describe a method for extracting subvoxel mineralogical and chemical information from synchrotron XRCT images by combining advanced image segmentation with geochemical models of cement alteration. The method relies on determining "effective linear activity coefficients" (ELAC) for the white light source to generate calibration curves that relate the image grayscales to material composition. The resulting data set supports the modeling of cement alteration by CO2-rich brine with discrete increases in calcium concentration at reaction boundaries. The results of these XRCT analyses can be used to further improve coupled geochemical and mechanical models of cement alteration in the wellbore environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7094-7100
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

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