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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Coupling fracture facies with in-situ permeability measurements to generate stochastic simulations of tight carbonate aquifer properties: Example from the Lower Cretaceous aquifer, Northern Provence, SE France


The relationships between fracture facies and permeability distribution have been explored using a well-constrained 3D implicit structural model of hemipelagic low porosity/low permeability carbonate from the Northern Provence region, SE France. Fracture and permeability facies were determined using an extensive dataset of 99 hydrogeological wells.Data processing was undertaken using a step-by-step approach, involving: (i) identification of the fracture facies based on well logs detailing structure and stratigraphy; (ii) determination of permeability facies from the a priori correlation between the dimension of the hydraulic radius of influence (deduced from slug test analyses) and the type of reservoir heterogeneity (fissure, fracture, fault zone, etc.); (iii) three dimensional plot of fracture and permeability facies in the geological model using a variographic analysis of data.Thirty-three sequential indicator simulations (SIS) based on geostatistic analyses were realised on both fracture and permeability facies. Finally, a connectivity algorithm was developed to compute the probability of connection between selected infiltration areas and the major aquifer springs via moderate- to high-permeability geological bodies.Key results are: (i) fault zones have a greater role in controlling permeability facies distribution than on fracture facies repartition; (ii) there is little correlation between permeability and fracture facies distributions; (iii) connectivity results highlight the compartmentalisation of aquifers in the Cadarache area, the extensions of permeable geological bodies being limited by the N130 faults.

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