Influence of geochemical reactions on the creep behavior of Mt. Simon sandstone

Ange Therese Akono, Gabriela Dávila, Jennifer Druhan, Zhuofan Shi, Kristian Jessen, Theodore Tsotsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capture and subsurface storage of carbon dioxide is a sustainable option that is currently pursued worldwide to mitigate greenhouse gas effect. However, predicting the long-term mechanical integrity of CO2 underground storage systems remains a challenge. To address that question, it is essential to understand the influence of fluid-rock chemo-mechanical interactions on the long-term and on the time-dependent mechanical properties. In turn, the long-term mechanical response and the time-dependent mechanical behavior can be represented by the creep response. We investigate the impact of CO2-induced geochemical reactions on the creep response of Mt. Simon sandstone with a 50–400 μm grain size. We perform static and dynamic flow experiments on Mt. Simon sandstone specimens under geological conditions, at a temperature of T=50–53 °C and for CO2 pressures of P=8.62, 17.2 MPa under both static flow and dynamic flow-through conditions. After aging, we employ creep indentation testing, high-resolution SEM-EDS, computer vision, machine learning, and micromechanics modeling to probe changes on the microstructure and mechanical properties. Following both static and dynamic flow-through experiments, we observe a 10–22% decrease in quartz volume fraction and an increase in both the microporosity (7–28%) and nanoporosity (60–65%). Additional CO2-induced microstructural changes include an enlargement of pore throats and the formation of channels. These observations point to the presence of CO2-induced K-feldspar dissolution and clay dissolution reactions. The macroscopic creep behavior is logarithmic and the macroscopic creep modulus varies depending on the microporosity and the relative quartz and feldspar content. As a result of these geochemical reactions and of the related microstructural changes, a 55–60% decrease in the macroscopic logarithmic creep modulus is predicted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103183
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CO geological sequestration
  • Creep indentation
  • Geochemical reactions
  • Mt. Simon sandstone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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