Non-invasive measurement of proppant pack deformation

Stuart D.C. Walsh, Megan Smith, Susan A. Carroll, Dustin Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe a method to non-invasively study the movement of proppant packs at the sub-fracture scale by applying three-dimensional digital image correlation techniques to X-ray tomography data. Proppant movement is tracked in a fractured core of Marcellus shale placed under a series of increasing confining pressures up to 10,000 psi. The analysis reveals the sudden failure of a region of the proppant pack, accompanied by the large-scale rearrangement of grains across the entire fracture surface. The failure of the pack coincides with the appearance of vortex-like grain motions similar to features observed in biaxial compression of two dimensional granular assemblies

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital image correlation
  • Proppant pack
  • X-Ray tomography

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