Research Groups

SNF Professorship: Rock Magnetism


Magnetic pore fabrics: Predicting pore geometry, permeability anisotropy and preferred flow directions based on magnetic anisotropy data

Understanding the migration of fluids through the subsurface is essential for maintaining clean sources of water, for harnessing geothermal energy, and for modeling the flow of petroleum and the emplacement of ore deposits. These fluids move from pore to pore at micrometer scales. When pores are elongated and preferentially aligned, flow will be easier and faster in some directions than in others, giving rise to preferred flow directions. The aim of this project is to develop the use of magnetic methods to rapidly characterize pore fabrics. These new methods also have the potential for higher resolution than traditional methods, and can be applied to a broad range of studies in geology, environmental, and material sciences.

The main focus of this project is to investigate and validate the magnetic pore fabrics method. To do so, we will compare magnetic results with traditional ways of characterizing pore fabrics, namely by direct porosity and permeability measurements and X-ray computed tomography data. Based on the thorough understanding of magnetic pore fabrics gained from these experiments, magnetic methods can then be used to efficiently characterize pore fabrics, and subsequently applied to other studies.

Typical samples for rock magnetic measurements