Carbonate rocks are heterogeneous at microscopic and macroscopic scales, hence, their characterization is challenging, expensive and time-consuming. Petrophysical analyses cannot provide information on the full geometry and pore space connectivity. Moreover, these analyses are time consuming and require evaluation by experts. Current imaging techniques do not cover a representative range of scales, have difficulty to image microporosity, and are not well integrated with the expert knowledge available. An automated tool for identifying and classifying pores and fractures does not yet exist. This contribution presents a novel multi-scale workflow dedicated to carbonate rocks that integrates innovative methods with state-of-the-art imaging technologies for automated classification of connected pores from nano- to centimeter scale: 1) Virtual Petrograph (ViP), an automated high resolution petrographic microscope to acquire and visualize high-resolution cross-polarized image-maps of ultra-thin sections; 2) Broad Ion Beam – Scanning Electron Microscopy (BIB-SEM), a 2D preparation and imaging technique that preserves the most delicate microstructures and images microporosity in detail over representative areas; 3) Liquid Metal Injection (LMI) followed by BIB-SEM, a porosimetry technique to distinguish connected and unconnected pore space. Validated pore maps will be the input for statistical analysis and used to train deep learning algorithms for pore segmentation and classification.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Jiang, M., Klaver, J., Schmatz, J. and Urai, J. L.
    [2015] Cryogenic Broad Ion Beam milling (BIB) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to image pore morphology and fluid contacts in hydrocarbon reservoir rocks. Acta Stereologica, Proceedings of the 14th International Congress for Stereology and Image Analysis, 6–10 July 2015, Liège (Belgium), ISSN 0351-580X.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Klaver, J., Schmatz, J., and Urai, J.L.
    [2017] Liquid Metal Injection: A Novel Tool to Investigate Connected Porosity and Transport Pathways in Unconventional Reservoirs. SPE Europec featured at 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, 12–15 June, Paris (France), SPE-185771-MS
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Norbisrath, J, Eberli, G. P., Laurich, B., Desbois, G. and Urai, J. L.
    [2015] Electrical and fluid flow properties of carbonate microporosity types from multiscale digital image analysis and mercury injection. AAPG Bulletin99, 11, 2077–2098
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Schmatz, J., Klaver, J., Virgo, S., Jiang, M., von Hagke, C., Desbois, G., Urai, J.L.
    [2017] Standardized Automated Multiscale Imaging Technologies to Quantify Microstructure and Petrophysical Properties in a Range of Rock Types. Conference Proceedings, 79th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2017, Jun 2017, Volume 2017, p.1–5
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Virgo, S., Heup, T., Urai, J. L., Berlage, T.
    [2016] Virtual Petrography (ViP) - A virtual microscope for the geosciences. EGU General Assembly 2016, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 18.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error