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A pore-scale study of fracture dynamics in rock using X‑ray micro-CT under ambient freeze-thaw cycling

Tim De Kock (UGent) , Marijn Boone (UGent) , Thomas De Schryver (UGent) , Jeroen Van Stappen (UGent) , Hannelore Derluyn (UGent) , Bert Masschaele (UGent) , Geert De Schutter (UGent) and Veerle Cnudde (UGent)
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Abstract
Freeze−thaw cycling stresses many environments which include porous media such as soil, rock and concrete. Climate change can expose new regions and subject others to a changing freeze−thaw frequency. Therefore, understanding and predicting the effect of freeze−thaw cycles is important in environmental science, the built environment and cultural heritage preservation. In this paper, we explore the possibilities of state-of-the-art micro-CT in studying the pore scale dynamics related to freezing and thawing. The experiments show the development of a fracture network in a porous limestone when cooling to −9.7 °C, at which an exothermal temperature peak is a proxy for ice crystallization. The dynamics of the fracture network are visualized with a time frame of 80 s. Theoretical assumptions predict that crystallization in these experiments occurs in pores of 6−20.1 nm under transient conditions. Here, the crystallization-induced stress exceeds rock strength when the local crystal fraction in the pores is 4.3%. The location of fractures is strongly related to preferential water uptake paths and rock texture, which are visually identified. Laboratory, continuous X-ray micro-CT scanning opens new perspectives for the pore-scale study of ice crystallization in porous media as well as for environmental processes related to freeze−thaw fracturing.
Keywords
COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY, CRYSTALLIZATION PRESSURE, POROUS MATERIALS, CRYSTAL-GROWTH, FROST DAMAGE, LIMESTONE, CLIMATE, STRESS, SALT, DETERIORATION

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Chicago
De Kock, Tim, Marijn Boone, Thomas De Schryver, Jeroen Van Stappen, Hannelore Derluyn, Bert Masschaele, Geert De Schutter, and Veerle Cnudde. 2015. “A Pore-scale Study of Fracture Dynamics in Rock Using X‑ray micro-CT Under Ambient Freeze-thaw Cycling.” Environmental Science & Technology 49 (5): 2867–2874.
APA
De Kock, T., Boone, M., De Schryver, T., Van Stappen, J., Derluyn, H., Masschaele, B., De Schutter, G., et al. (2015). A pore-scale study of fracture dynamics in rock using X‑ray micro-CT under ambient freeze-thaw cycling. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 49(5), 2867–2874.
Vancouver
1.
De Kock T, Boone M, De Schryver T, Van Stappen J, Derluyn H, Masschaele B, et al. A pore-scale study of fracture dynamics in rock using X‑ray micro-CT under ambient freeze-thaw cycling. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. 2015;49(5):2867–74.
MLA
De Kock, Tim, Marijn Boone, Thomas De Schryver, et al. “A Pore-scale Study of Fracture Dynamics in Rock Using X‑ray micro-CT Under Ambient Freeze-thaw Cycling.” ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 49.5 (2015): 2867–2874. Print.
@article{5904603,
  abstract     = {Freeze\ensuremath{-}thaw cycling stresses many environments which include porous media such as soil, rock and concrete. Climate change can expose new regions and subject others to a changing freeze\ensuremath{-}thaw frequency. Therefore, understanding and predicting the effect of freeze\ensuremath{-}thaw cycles is important in environmental science, the built environment and cultural heritage preservation. In this paper, we explore the possibilities of state-of-the-art micro-CT in studying the pore scale dynamics related to freezing and thawing. The experiments show the development of a fracture network in a porous limestone when cooling to \ensuremath{-}9.7 {\textdegree}C, at which an exothermal temperature peak is a proxy for ice crystallization. The dynamics of the fracture network are visualized with a time frame of 80 s. Theoretical assumptions predict that crystallization in these experiments occurs in pores of 6\ensuremath{-}20.1 nm under transient conditions. Here, the crystallization-induced stress exceeds rock strength when the local crystal fraction in the pores is 4.3\%. The location of fractures is strongly related to preferential water uptake paths and rock texture, which are visually identified. Laboratory, continuous X-ray micro-CT scanning opens new perspectives for the pore-scale study of ice crystallization in porous media as well as for environmental processes related to freeze\ensuremath{-}thaw fracturing.},
  author       = {De Kock, Tim and Boone, Marijn and De Schryver, Thomas and Van Stappen, Jeroen and Derluyn, Hannelore and Masschaele, Bert and De Schutter, Geert and Cnudde, Veerle},
  issn         = {0013-936X},
  journal      = {ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE \& TECHNOLOGY},
  keyword      = {COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY,CRYSTALLIZATION PRESSURE,POROUS MATERIALS,CRYSTAL-GROWTH,FROST DAMAGE,LIMESTONE,CLIMATE,STRESS,SALT,DETERIORATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {2867--2874},
  title        = {A pore-scale study of fracture dynamics in rock using X\unmatched{2011}ray micro-CT under ambient freeze-thaw cycling},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es505738d},
  volume       = {49},
  year         = {2015},
}

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