Geology

Clay-driven compaction

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Science  16 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6539, pp. 251-252
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6539.251-d

Active gas reservoirs often subside during fossil fuel production. The mode of deformation, elastic or inelastic, is critical for assessing the production impact and hazard associated with extraction. Verberne et al. compared two drill cores from before and 50 years after gas production began in the Groningen field in the Netherlands. Detailed observations revealed that the permanent deformation was due to the fracture of feldspar grains, which was driven by deformation of weak clay films. Better understanding this compaction is vital for modeling this site, along with others in various stages of production.

Geology 10.1130/G48243.1 (2020).

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