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Physical Rock Matrix Characterization: Structural and Mineralogical Heterogeneities in Granite

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Mikko Voutilainen
Affiliation:
mikko.voutilainen@phys.jyu.fi, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Physics, Jyväskylä, Finland
Suvi Lamminmäki
Affiliation:
suvi.lamminmaki@helsinki.fi, University of Helsinki, Laboratory of Radiochemistry, Finland
Jussi Timonen
Affiliation:
jussi.timonen@phys.jyu.fi, University of Jyväskylä, Department of Physics, Jyväskylä, Finland
Marja Siitari-kauppi
Affiliation:
marja.siitari-kauppi@helsinki.fi, University of Helsinki, Laboratory of Radiochemistry, Finland
Daniel Breitner
Affiliation:
danielbreitner@yahoo.com, of Geography and Earth Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract

Evaluation of the transport and retardation properties of rock matrices that serve as host rock for nuclear waste repositories necessitates their thorough pore-space characterization. Relevant properties to be quantified include the diffusion depth and volume adjacent to water conducting features. The bulk values of these quantities are not sufficient due to the heterogeneity of mineral structure on the scale of the expected transport/interaction distances. In this work the 3D pore structure of altered granite samples with porosities of 5 to 15%, taken next to water conducting fractures at 180 200 m depth in Sievi, Finland, was studied. Characterization of diffusion pathways and porosity were based on quantitative autoradiography of rock sections impregnated with C14-labelled polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). Construction of 3D structure from PMMA autoradiographs was tested. The PMMA method was augmented by field emission scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analyses (FESEM/EDAX) in order to study small pore-aperture regions in more detail and to identify the corresponding minerals. The 3D distribution of minerals and their abundances were determined by X-ray microtomography. Combining the mineral specific porosity found by the PMMA method with these distributions provided us with a 3D porosity distribution in the rock matrix.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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References

REFERENCES

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