Reliable estimation of hydraulic permeability from 3D X-ray CT images of porous rock

Eomzi Yang, Dong Hun Kang, Tae Sup Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The hydraulic permeability is a key parameter for simulating the flow-related phenomenon so that its accurate estimation is crucial in both experimental and numerical simulation studies. 3D pore structure can be readily taken by X-ray computed tomography (CT) and it often serves as a flow domain for pore-scale simulation. However, one encounters the challenges in segmenting the authentic pore structure owing to the finite size of image resolution and segmentation methods. Therefore, the loss of structural information in pore space seems unavoidable to result in the unreliable estimation of permeability. In this study, we propose a novel framework to overcome these limitations by using a flexible ternary segmentation scheme. Given the pore size distribution curve and porosity, three phases of pore, solid, and gray regions are segmented by considering the partial volume effect which holds the composition information of unresolved objects. The resolved objects such as solid and pore phases are taken to equivalently solve Stokes equation while the fluid flow through unresolved objects is simultaneously solved by Stokes-Brinkmann equation. The proposed numerical scheme to obtain the permeability is applied to Indiana limestone and Navajo sandstone. The results show that the computed hydraulic permeability is similar to the experimentally obtained value without being affected by image resolution. This approach has advantages of achieving consistent permeability values, less influenced by segmentation methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number08004
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 18
Event2nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics, ICEGT 2020 - La Jolla, United States
Duration: 2020 Sept 202020 Sept 23

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant by the Korea government (MSIT) [2020R1A2C1014815]

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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