Applied Geophysics

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 209–217 | Cite as

Crack fluid identification of shale reservoir based on stress-dependent anisotropy

  • Jia-Jia ZhangEmail author
  • Guang-Zhi Zhang
  • Lan-Hua Huang
Reservoir Geophysics


Shale reservoirs are typically very tight, and crack are only a small part of the reservoir. The directional arrangement of cracks leads to the anisotropic characteristics of shale, and the type of fluid filled in cracks affects the shale reservoir evaluation and late development. Many rock physics theories and methods typically use second- and fourth-order crack density tensors to characterize the elastic anisotropy induced by cracks as well as the normal-to-tangential crack compliance ratio to distinguish between dry and saturated cracks. This study defines an anisotropic crack fluid indicator for vertical transversely isotropy (VTI) media with vertical symmetry axis which is the integration of the normal-to-tangential crack compliance ratio in three directions. A new dimensionless fourth-order tensor, including crack fluid type, azimuth distribution, and geometric shape, is constructed by substituting the normal and tangential compliance into the fourth-order crack density tensor, which can also be used to identify the type of crack fluid in the VTI media. Using the Callovo-Oxfordian shale experimental data, the variation of the elastic properties of dry and saturated shale samples with axial stress is analyzed. The results demonstrate that the anisotropic crack fluid indicator of water-bearing shale samples is less than that of the dry shale samples and that the dimensionless fourth-order tensor of water-bearing shale samples is nearly one order of magnitude greater than that of the dry shale samples. Therefore, the anisotropic crack fluid indicator and dimensionless fourth-order tensor can reflect the crack fluid type in shale samples and can be used for shale reservoir prediction and fluid identification.


cracks fluid identification crack density tensor crack fluid indicator dimensionless fourth-order tensor 


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The authors thank Profs. Li Yandong, Li Shengjie, and Li Hongbing for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© The Editorial Department of APPLIED GEOPHYSICS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia-Jia Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guang-Zhi Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lan-Hua Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of GeosciencesChina University of Petroleum (East China)QingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Mineral ResourcesQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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