Thermal Characteristics of Porous Rocks At Elevated Temperatures
- W.H. Somerton (U. of California) | G.D. Boozer (California Research Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 77 - 81
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.2.3 Rock Properties
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Thermal diffusivities of some typical sedimentary rocks have been measured by a rapid unsteady-state technique. Thermal data including diffusivity and conductivity are presented for the temperature range of 200 to 1,800°F.
Diffusivities calculated from steady-state conductivity measurements compared favorably with unsteady-state data at the lower temperatures. Unsteady-state data are less reliable at higher temperatures; reported values may be as much as 20 per cent high at temperatures in excess of 1,500°F. This is caused partly by the simplified method used in calculating diffusivity from experimental data and partly by the many thermal reactions which occur at the higher temperatures.
The marked decrease in thermal diffusivity and conductivity at elevated temperatures indicates the importance of considering the temperature dependence of thermal properties in subsurface heat-transfer calculations. Knowledge of the effects of liquid saturation, overburden and pore pressures, and heats of reaction of reservoir materials will be required before complete subsurface thermal analyses may be made.
Heat-transfer calculations are becoming increasingly important in the analysis of in situ combustion and underground nuclear explosions. Thermal data for natural rock materials at elevated temperatures are generally unavailable. Calculations at high temperatures may be grossly inaccurate if temperature-dependent thermal properties of rocks are not considered.
It is known that the heat capacities of rocks increase with temperature. Heat capacities may be calculated from chemical or mineralogical analyses of the rock system. Thermal bulk expansion of rocks is believed to be small, although few data are available. Thermal conductivities of most natural rock materials decrease with increased temperature. Thermal diffusivity, defined as the thermal conductivity divided by the product of the heat capacity and the bulk density of the material, is used in unsteady-state heat-transfer calculations. It is apparent that thermal diffusivity decreases markedly with increased temperature.
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