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Journal of NUCLEAR SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 44, No. 9, p. 1233–1247 (2007)

ARTICLE

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity of Porous Rocks using X-ray Computed Tomography Image Data

Yoshito NAKASHIMA 1; and Susumu KAMIYA 1

1 Exploration Geophysics Research Group, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 7, Higashi 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8567, Japan

(Received January 12, 2007 and accepted in revised form April 18, 2007)

Understanding of the transport properties of porous rocks is important for safe nuclear waste disposal because harmful contaminated groundwater can migrate along pore spaces over long distances. We devel- oped three original Mathematica version 5.2 programs to calculate the transport properties (porosity, pore connectivity, surface-to-volume ratio of the pore space, and anisotropic tortuosity of the pore struc- ture) of porous rocks using three-dimensional (3-D) 8-bit TIFF or BMP X-ray computed tomography (CT) images. The pre-processing program Itrimming.nb extracts a 3-D rectangular region of interest (ROI) from the raw CT images. The program Clabel.nb performs cluster-labeling processing of the pore voxels in the ROI to export volume, surface area, and the center of gravity of each pore cluster, which are essential for the analysis of pore connectivity. The random walk program Rwalk.nb simulates diffusion of non-sorbing species by performing discrete lattice walks on the largest (i.e., percolated) pore cluster in the ROI and exports the mean-square displacement of the non-sorbing walkers, which is needed to estimate the geo- metrical tortuosity and surface-to-volume ratio of the pore. We applied the programs to microfocus X- ray CT images of a rhyolitic lava sample having an anisotropic pore structure. The programs are available at http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jnst/44/9/ and http://staff.aist.go.jp/nakashima.yoshito/progeng.htm to facilitate the X-ray CT approach to groundwater hydrology.

KEYWORDS: anisotropy, diffusometry, diffusion tensor, MRI, NMR, permeability, percolation cluster, pore size, porous media, self-diffusion coefficient, X-ray CT

I. Introduction

For safe nuclear waste disposal, understanding of the mi- croscopic aspects of groundwater migration through natural porous rocks is essential because harmful contaminated groundwater can migrate along sub-millimeter pore spaces over long distances. 1,2) The microscopic aspect of groundwa- ter transport in the geosphere depends on the pore structure. Examples of the influence of the pore structure on macro- scopic transport properties are shown in Fig. 1. The geomet- rical tortuosity of the pore structure is important because the diffusivity and permeability decrease with increasing tor- tuosity. 3) A percolated pore cluster enables long distance mi- gration of pore fluid molecules by diffusion and the Darcy flow, while isolated pores cannot contribute to long distance material transport. 4) Thus, a pore connectivity analysis or a cluster-labeling analysis of the pores is needed to evaluate the transport properties of the rocks. The pore size or the re- ciprocal of the surface-to-volume ratio of the pore space is also important for the groundwater flow because the Darcy

Corresponding author, E-mail: nakashima.yoshito@aist.go.jp Atomic Energy Society of Japan

flow rate strongly depends on the pore size. 5) Because the pore structure is complex and three-dimensional (3-D), a two-dimensional (2-D) approach such as photomicroscopy of a thin section is inadequate and a system capable of meas- uring the 3-D pore structure in porous geological samples is needed. Micro-focus or synchrotron X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) is a powerful tool to obtain the 3-D images of sub-mil- limeter pores nondestructively. 6,7) A computer program can then be used to quantitatively analyze the transport proper- ties using the digital images. 812) To the best knowledge of the authors, however, few such programs have been made publicly available at little or no cost. Thus, in the present study, we developed Mathematica version 5.2 programs to calculate the transport properties (porosity, pore connec- tivity, surface-to-volume ratio of the pore space, and aniso- tropic tortuosity of the pore structure) of the porous rocks. Although the programs are not intended for the Darcy flow simulations, it is possible to estimate the macroscopic per- meability (k ) in Fig. 1 using the porosity, surface-to-volume ratio and pore tortuosity values obtained by the programs. 12) We, then, applied the programs to a CT image set of a nat- ural rock sample (vesicular rhyolitic lava having an aniso-

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Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA

1234 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA Fig. 1 The effects of pore geometry on the macroscopic

Fig. 1 The effects of pore geometry on the macroscopic permea- bility (k ) and pore fluid diffusivity (D) in porous rocks. (a) Same pore diameter but with different tortuosity. The straight or less tortuous pipe yields higher permeability and diffusivity. (b) Per- colated pore crossing the whole system compared with isolated pores. The former gives higher permeability and diffusivity. (c) Same porosity but with different pore diameter. The former yields higher permeability.

of porous media. However, these programs had the follow- ing limitations: (1) The programs (DMAP.m, RW3D.m, and Kai3D.m) read the 3-D CT images as text files and can- not import binary files such as the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) and Bit MaP (BMP) files. (2) DMAP.m and RW3D.m assume an isotropic pore structure and, thus, are not applica- ble to the anisotropic porous media. (3) It is not possible to apply RW3D.m to the CT images for which the pore size is as large as the total system size. (4) Kai3D.m cannot export the cluster-labeled 3-D pore images, which are essential for performing computer simulations of a random walk on a per- colated pore cluster. These limitations no longer exist in the new programs.

II. Descriptions of the Mathematica Programs

  • 1. General

All programs developed in the present study are of the notebook type and are for the Mathematica version 5.2 or later. It should be noted that, although there are some 2-D illustrations below for simplicity and pedagogical purposes, all the programs are for the 3-D image analysis. Thus, users should prepare 3-D 8-bit (not 16-bit) CT images as a set of contiguous 2-D slices. The dimensions of the voxel (a vol- ume element) of each image should be cubic. If they are not cubic, Clabel.nb cannot calculate the correct surface area value of each pore cluster and Rwalk.nb cannot calculate the correct value of the mean-square displacement of random walkers. The programs, user manuals, and an example of 3-D CT images of a rhyolitic lava sample are available at http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jnst/44/9/ and http://staff. aist.go.jp/nakashima.yoshito/progeng.htm. The programs are outlined briefly below and summarized in Table 1. For further information, such as details about data preparation and program execution, readers should refer to the ‘‘readme’’ text file available at the URLs above.

tropic pore structure) to calculate the pore connectivity and anisotropic tortuosity and to discuss the reliability of the pro- grams’ performance. We offer the programs on the Internet (http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/jnst/44/9/ and http://staff. aist.go.jp/nakashima.yoshito/progeng.htm) to facilitate the X-ray CT approach to groundwater hydrology. We previously made available on the Internet free pro- grams for calculation of the tortuosity (i.e., DMAP.m 13) and RW3D.m 14) ) and pore connectivity (i.e., Kai3D.m 15) )

  • 2. Itrimming.nb

The function of the Itrimming.nb program is to trim the raw CT images and to export the trimmed rectangular im- ages in TIFF, BMP, Comma-Separated Values (CSV), or Tab-Separated Values (TSV) format. This program should be run before using Clabel.nb and Rwalk.nb to extract a 3- D rectangular region of interest (ROI) from a set of the raw CT images. Both pore connectivity analysis (i.e., clus- ter-labeling analysis) and random walk simulations will be performed on the extracted 3-D rectangular image system.

Table 1

Outline of the three notebook-type Mathematica programs

Program name

Function

Input

Output

Itrimming.nb

Image trimming of ROI

Raw CT image

Trimmed CT image

Clabel.nb

Cluster labeling of pores

Trimmed CT image

Voxel intensity histogram of the 3-D image Labeled CT image Volume and surface area of each cluster

Rwalk.nb

Random walk in a pore cluster

Labeled CT image

Mean-square displacement of walkers 3-D trajectories of some walkers

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity

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Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity Fig. 2 Example of

Fig. 2 Example of CT image trimming to extract a region of in- terest (ROI). This 2-D image of a cylindrical andesitic lava sam- ple (effective porosity 22 vol.%) has an image dimension of 512 2 voxels = 7:8 2 mm 2 . Pores and ambient air are dark in the CT image. The trimmed ROI inscribed within the cylindrical rock image is indicated by the open square.

An example of selecting an ROI is shown in Fig. 2. The sample is porous andesite lava obtained from Sumikawa, Akita, Japan. 16) An X-ray CT image visualizes the spatial distribution of the X-ray linear absorption coefficient (LAC) within the sample. 17) Thus, it is straightforward to distinguish between solid areas with high LAC and air-filled pores with a low LAC. The ambient air and pores with the low LAC are shown by the dark voxels while groundmass and phenocrysts appear as the light areas (in particular, iron-rich high-density phenocrysts such as pyroxene are very light). Because ambient air is not needed to estimate the transport properties of the andesite sample, the ambient air voxels located at the four corners of the image system should be eliminated. As a result, an ROI inscribed within the cylin- drical sample was chosen. In the program, users are requested to specify the coordi- nates of the upper left corner of the rectangular ROI and the dimensions of the rectangle in a right-handed coordinate sys- tem. The program extracts the rectangles from all slices (i.e., 2-D images) and saves them as TIFF, BMP, CSV, or TSV files. A histogram of the 8-bit voxel intensity of the trimmed 3-D image dataset is calculated and saved as a CSV text file. This histogram is useful for specifying the threshold for dis- criminating between air-filled pores with a low LAC and solid areas with a high LAC, which is required to run the Clabel.nb program.

3. Clabel.nb

Clabel.nb is a cluster-labeling program. Pore clusters are connected pore voxels and cluster labeling refers to the ex- amination of the 3-D pore connectivity in order to export a

3-D image set of the labeled pore clusters. 18) All pore voxels in the porous media are colored cluster by cluster and are as- signed to one of the pore clusters by this processing. This cluster-labeling analysis is important for understanding the contribution of pores to groundwater migration. Some pores in the porous media are three-dimensionally connected to form a single large percolation cluster responsible for the macroscopic transport of materials; other pores are isolated and do not contribute to macroscopic diffusion and the Dar- cy flow. The Clabel.nb program allows us to characterize such pore clusters. Voxels are arranged like a simple cubic lattice in the 3-D digital CT image set and the program scans the pore voxel connectivity systematically voxel by voxel. When a pore voxel is in full contact with another voxel, the two voxels are judged to be connected. When the two pore voxels are in contact only at a vertex or an edge, the clusters are con- sidered to be disconnected. This cluster neighborhood rule is commonly used in the connectivity analysis, 18,19) and shown in Fig. 3. The fast algorithm of Hoshen and Kopelman (1976) 18,20) was employed for Clabel.nb, and an example of the algo- rithm for a 2-D case is shown in Fig. 4. This algorithm re- quires only two scans of the whole image system. The first scan is carried out following the criterion of Fig. 3. The di- rection of the first scan is shown in Fig. 4. This line scan starts from the origin (the left top corner) and checks the pore connectivity voxel by voxel along the arrow indicated. If a pore voxel is not face-adjacent to any of the surrounding pore voxels, the voxel is labeled with a cluster color denot- ing a new voxel intensity. If a pore voxel is face-adjacent to a surrounding pore voxel, the voxel is labeled with the same cluster color as the adjacent pore voxel. The number of ad- jacent voxels to be checked during the line scan is two in the 2-D case of Fig. 4 (three in the 3-D case). Unfortunately, the cluster color of the two (or three) adjacent voxels is not al- ways common. As a result, the first scan occasionally yields mislabeling in which two or more colors are labeled to a sin- gle cluster. An example of this mislabeling is shown for a U- shaped cluster in Fig. 4. During the first scan, this mislabel- ing is recorded in a temporary errata file stating that the cluster colors ‘‘1’’ and ‘‘2’’ should be identical. The second scan is performed to correct the mislabeling. The direction of the second scan is the same as that of the first scan. By referencing the errata file, the program changes the cluster colors and exports a labeled 3-D image set in which each pore cluster is labeled with a single unique color. Clabel.nb exports a labeled 3-D image set as TIFF, BMP, CSV, or TSV files. In the files, each pore cluster is colored according to a color table (the file name: color.txt) provided by the user. This labeled pore image set is essential to prob- ing the tortuosity by the long-distance random walk simula- tion of pore fluid molecules along a percolated pore cluster using Rwalk.nb. The program also exports a record of the volume, surface area, and 3-D coordinates of the center of gravity for each pore cluster as a text file. The surface-to- volume ratio of each pore cluster is obtained by dividing the cluster surface area by the cluster volume. This ratio is an important transport property because its reciprocal is

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1236 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA Fig. 3 Criterion of pore voxel connectivity in a 3-D

Fig. 3 Criterion of pore voxel connectivity in a 3-D simple cubic image system. Adjacent voxels are judged as connected when they share a face. Voxels are not connected when they make con- tact by an edge or vertex. The connected pore voxels form a sin- gle pore cluster, and pore fluid molecules can migrate within the pore cluster by Darcy flow and/or diffusion.

nearly equal to the pore diameter. 5) The output about the center of gravity is useful for analyzing the 3-D positions of small pore clusters. There are two possible methods for calculating the surface area of a pore cluster; which one of these is used depends on the judgment of whether or not the rim of the image system is a real pore–solid interface (Fig. 5). If one considers that the blue rim of Fig. 5 is not real and disappears when a larg- er ROI is selected, then, the surface area (perimeter in the 2- D case) of the orange cluster is counted using only the green interface. On the other hand, if one considers the blue rim to be real, the total surface area of the orange pore cluster is the sum of the green and blue lines. Clabel.nb exports both sur- face area values. Clabel.nb was applied to a synthetic 3-D test image of which the volume and surface data of each pore cluster is

1236 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA Fig. 3 Criterion of pore voxel connectivity in a 3-D

Fig. 4 Two-dimensional example of the cluster-labeling algo- rithm by Hoshen and Kopelman (1976). 20) The 1-bit gray-levels of the pore voxels and solid voxels are 1 and 0, respectively, in the CT image before labeling. The first scan starts from the origin (left top corner) and proceeds along the first row of the 2-D ma- trix as indicated by an arrow. The line scan along the second row follows in the same direction of the arrow. After the completion of the 2-D matrix scan of a single CT slice image, the program continues the scan of the adjacent 2-D slice to accomplish the scan of the whole image system. After the first scan, the U-shap- ed gray pore cluster contains two different cluster colors (i.e., voxel intensities), namely 1 and 2. This contradiction is corrected using the errata file after the second scan. The color of each pore cluster after the second scan obeys the color table provided by the user.

known. It was confirmed that Clabel.nb outputted the correct volume and surface data, demonstrating good performance reliability. The cluster labeling of pore images of a pack of glass beads 15) and natural sand grains 26) has been carried out using Kai3D.m. Clabel.nb was applied to these images to confirm that the Clabel.nb output results were identical to those by Kai3D.m, supporting again the reliability of the program.

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Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity

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Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity Fig. 5 Two possible

Fig. 5 Two possible definitions, A and B, of the surface area of the pore cluster. In this example, the orange pore cluster reaches the rim of a 2-D image system of 7 7 voxels. The dimension of each voxel is unity. A: If the edge of the pore voxels at the rim (blue) is not considered to be a real pore–solid interface, the total surface area (total perimeter in the 2-D case) of the orange cluster is the sum of the green lines, namely 22. B: If the blue rim is ac- cepted as a real pore–solid interface, the total perimeter is the sum of the green and blue lines, namely 22 þ 10 ¼ 32.

4. Rwalk.nb Rwalk.nb is a 3-D random walk program to simulate the diffusion of non-sorbing species (e.g., H 2 O, Br , and I ) in the pores. The random walk should be non-sorbing be- cause the purpose is to calculate the geometrical tortuosity of the pore structure and the undesirable effects of the sorp- tion of walkers on the solid surface should be eliminated. The random walk performed by Rwalk.nb is a discrete lattice walk in a simple cubic lattice 18) (not an off-lattice walk). An example of a random walk trajectory is shown in Fig. 6 for a 2-D case. The walker migrates on discrete voxels whose gray-levels correspond to the pore space. A pore voxel is chosen randomly from among the whole image system as the start position of the lattice walk trial at ¼ 0, where is the dimensionless integer time. The walker executes a ran- dom jump to one of the nearest pore voxels (the maximum number of the nearest pore voxels is six for a 3-D simple cu- bic lattice); is incremented by a unit time after the jump so that the time becomes þ 1. If the randomly selected voxel is a solid voxel, the jump is not performed, but, the time still becomes þ 1. The main output of Rwalk.nb is the mean-square displace- ment, hr 2 i, of the walkers as a function of (the file name:

Rwalk.csv).

hr ð Þ 2 i ¼

1

n

n X

i¼1

½ðx i ð Þ x i ð0ÞÞ 2 þ ð y i ð Þ y i ð0ÞÞ 2

þ ðz i ð Þ z i ð0ÞÞ 2

ð1Þ

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity Fig. 5 Two possible

Fig. 6 Example of a 2-D lattice-walk trajectory in a porous medi- um over 200 time steps. The image system consists of 30 30 discrete voxels. The initial and final positions of the walker are marked by solid and open circles, respectively.

where n is the number of the random walkers and x i ð Þ, y i ð Þ, and z i ð Þ are the 3-D coordinates of the walker’s position at time for the ith walker. The x-y plane is embedded within the 2-D CT slice and z is the stacking direction of the slices based on a right-handed coordinate system. The exact solu- tion of the mean-square displacement for a lattice walk in a free space (i.e., porosity = 100 vol.%), hr 2 i free , is given

by 15,18)

hr 2 i free ¼ 6D 0 t ¼ a 2

ð2Þ

where t is the time, D 0 is the diffusion coefficient of the walker in the free space without solids (e.g., H 2 O self-diffu- sivity in bulk water), and a is the lattice constant of the sim- ple cubic lattice (i.e., the dimension of a cubic CT voxel). For diffusion in rock pores, hr 2 i is reduced compared with hr 2 i free owing to the obstruction effects of solids. The degree of the reduction is measured quantitatively by the tortuosity as follows. The mean-square displacement is important be- cause the (scalar) diffusion coefficient, D, of the non-sorbing species in the three-dimensionally isotropic porous media is related to the time-derivative of hr 2 i:

Dðt Þ ¼

1

d hr 2 i

6

dt

ð3Þ

The tortuosity of the pore structure is a key transport prop- erty for the systems with small Pe´ clet numbers and is defined as the limiting value of the ratio of D in the free space to D in the porous media:

Tortuosity ¼

D

0

a 2 d hr ð Þ 2 i d

Dðt Þ

¼

as t and !1

ð4Þ

Although the tortuosity is defined as the square root of Eq. (4), namely, ðD 0 =DÞ 1=2 in some literatures, 3,21) we obey

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the definition of Eq. (4), which is commonly used in the nu- clear magnetic resonance diffusometry. 22) It should be noted that, while the diffusivity in the free space is time-independent, it in the porous media depends on the time or the diffusion distance because the diffusion is restricted by obstacles (i.e., solids). 23,24) For unrestricted diffusion, for example, H 2 O self-diffusion in bulk water,

hr ðt Þ 2 i, is linear with respect to t , and, thus, D is constant be- cause of the homogeneity of the space. On the other hand, because local heterogeneity (an finite pore size) exists, D is time-dependent for a random walk in the porous media (Fig. 7). Solid parts of the porous media are obstacles to the diffusing material and, thus, the random walk trajectory is restricted by the obstacles, which reduces the diffusion co- efficient in the porous media compared to that in bulk fluid. The degree of the diffusivity reduction is governed by the average pore size and the characteristic diffusion distance (root-mean-square displacement) of walkers. In the limit of t ! 0, the root-mean-square displacement becomes smaller than the pore size. The walkers rarely collide with solid walls and the obstruction effects of solids are weak. As a re- sult, the diffusion coefficient in the porous media normalized to that in bulk fluid is slightly smaller than unity. This slight decrease in the diffusion coefficient is proportional to the surface-to-volume ratio of the porous media with negligible solid surface relaxivity of the nuclear spin: 2325)

D

D

0

¼ 1

4

S

9

p ffiffiffi

V

pore

p ffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

D 0 t

þ c 1 t as t ! 0 ð5Þ

where ðS=V Þ pore is the surface-to-volume ratio of the pore space and c 1 is a constant. Nakashima and Yamaguchi (2004) converted t into using Eq. (2) and integrated

Eq. (5) to obtain a useful expression for the simulation data fitting robustly against random noise: 26)

hr ð Þ 2 i

hr ð Þ 2 i free

¼ 1

8a p ffiffiffiffiffiffi

6

S

27

V

pore

p ffiffiffi

þ c 2

as ! 0

ð6Þ

where c 2 is a constant. Equation (6) allows us to calculate ðS=V Þ pore by performing the random walk simulations in the short-time limit if the 3-D pore structure is isotropic. The random walk approach for the estimation of ðS=V Þ pore mentioned above is time-consuming and less accurate owing to the stochastic nature of the random walk simulations com- pared with the deterministic cluster-labeling approach. How- ever, this diffusometry-based method is, in principle, appli- cable to the in situ nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) well logging 27) of the water-saturated porous strata of a nuclear waste disposal site. Magnets of a special design (i.e., one- sided magnets) are equipped on the NMR logging sonde 25) to enable the measurement of self-diffusion coefficients of the pore fluid molecules several centimeters inside the bore- hole wall. The obtained diffusion data are used to character- ize the pore structure and fluid species, which are difficult to perform by other logging methods. Thus, diffusometry using the CT images and Eq. (6) is useful for interpreting the phys- ical background revealed by the NMR logging data. As time elapses, a random walker in the porous rocks mi- grates further than the average pore size (Fig. 7). In this long-time limit, the random walkers fully experience the

1238 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA the definition of Eq. (4), which is commonly used in
1238 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA the definition of Eq. (4), which is commonly used in

Fig. 7 Schematics of a random walk of pore fluid molecules in a

fluid-saturated tortuous pipe of diameter d . (a) Example of a tra- jectory of a random walker (solid circle) diffusing in the pore space. At t d 2 =ð6D 0 Þ where D 0 is the self-diffusion coefficient of bulk fluid, the walker rarely collides with grains, so the diffu- sion is nearly equal to that in free space. The collision frequency increases with time, reducing the mean-square displacement in the porous rock. The walker eventually negotiates many solid walls and experiences the full geometrical tortuosity of the po-

rous media at t

d 2 =ð6D 0 Þ. (b) Mean-square displacement of

the random walk in (a). There is a transition from the unrestricted diffusion regime to the restricted diffusion regime. The transition occurs at about t ¼ d 2 =ð6D 0 Þ when the root-mean-square dis- placement is nearly equal to the pore diameter, d .

high tortuosity of the porous media and the slope of hr 2 i reaches a constant value. 22) The geometrical tortuosity of the porous rocks can, then, be calculated by using this slope in Eq. (4). Hence, it is possible to calculate the tortuosity by

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Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity (a) (b) Fig. 8

(a)

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity (a) (b) Fig. 8

(b)

Fig. 8 Boundary conditions for the random walk simulation for a 2-D example. The green square denotes the original image system, and the red square is a super system made by a mirror operation. (a) A straightforward periodic boundary condition with parallel arrangement of the green square. Note that the undesirable discontinuity of the pore structure occurs, through which pore fluid molecules cannot jump into an adjacent image system. (b) A modified periodic boun- dary condition using a super system (red) containing mirror copies. The parallel arrangement of the red square yields a continuous and percolated pore network through which random walkers can travel the long distance essential for the correct estimation of the tortuosity value.

performing the long-time random walk simulations using the 3-D CT image data. Natural rocks often possess an anisotropic pore struc- ture. 2830) If the pore is anisotropic, D is a tensor 31) (not a scalar) and Eqs. (3) to (6) break down. Directional mean- square displacement, hx 2 i, hy 2 i, and hz 2 i, is needed to discuss the tortuosity of anisotropic porous rocks:

hxð Þ 2 i ¼

1

n

n X

i¼1

ðx i ð Þ

x i ð0ÞÞ 2

hyð Þ 2 i ¼

1

n

n X

i¼1

ð y i ð Þ y i ð0ÞÞ 2

hzð Þ 2 i ¼

1

n

n X

i¼1

ðz i ð Þ z i ð0ÞÞ 2

ð7Þ

ð8Þ

ð9Þ

Rwalk.nb exports Eqs. (7) to (9) as well as Eq. (1) as a func- tion of . Their exact solutions for the lattice walk in the free space (i.e., porosity = 100 vol.%), hx 2 i free , hy 2 i free , and hz 2 i free , are given by:

hx 2 i free

¼ hy 2 i free

¼ hz 2 i free

¼

1

3

hr 2 i free ¼

1

3

a 2

ð10Þ

The directional tortuosity can be calculated using Eqs. (7) to (10). For example, the tortuosity in the x-direction is the time-derivative of Eq. (10) (i.e., a 2 =3) divided by that of Eq. (7). Long-time data on the mean-square displacement are

needed to correctly compute the tortuosity defined by Eq. (4). However, as time elapses, the random walkers even- tually go out of a 3-D CT image system of a finite size. This out-leaching is undesirable because the lattice walk (e.g., Fig. 6) cannot be carried out for the walkers outside the sys- tem. A periodic boundary condition is useful to avoid this difficulty. It should be noted, however, that a simplistic pe-

riodic boundary condition (Fig. 8a) is useless because the

pore connectivity breaks down at the boundary and the walk- ers cannot migrate beyond the boundary. A modified boun-

dary condition using a mirror operation on the original 3-D

image was employed in the present study to solve the discon-

tinuity problem (Fig. 8b).

Some programming techniques were implemented in Rwalk.nb to conserve a memory and to reduce the CPU cal- culation time. In the 3-D case, the mirror operation of Fig. 8b requires a memory allocation eight times larger than the method of Fig. 8a. As this could sometimes exceed the installed RAM limit of a user’s computer, we load only

the original image set (the green frame in Fig. 8b) into

RAM and calculate the position in the red frame using the mirror symmetry, reducing the memory use by 7/8. The cal- culation of the mean-square displacement at every time step is one of the most time-consuming processes of Rwalk.nb. To save the CPU time, we implemented vectorization in the process of adding hr 2 ð Þi data for the latest ith walker to hr 2 ð Þi summed for the first to i 1th walkers. This vec-

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1240 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA Fig. 9 Photomicrograph of a thin section of Niijima lava

Fig. 9 Photomicrograph of a thin section of Niijima lava (open nicol). Pores are filled with blue resin. The volcanic glass is white. The brown mineral at left is biotite. The thin section and cylindrical sample for CT were made from the same rock sample.

torization drastically reduced the CPU time (e.g., from 34 hours to 15 hours for the Niijima lava sample case described below). When running Rwalk.nb, users should import a la- beled pore-cluster image data set and perform the lattice walk repeatedly to find the optimum simulation parameters (e.g., number of walkers and number of time steps) by trial and error. Importing a labeled 3-D CT image set as text, TIFF, or BMP files is another time-consuming step. To save time, we made a pre-processor, pre Rwalk csv.nb (or pre Rwalk image.nb), which converts the CSV text files (or the TIFF/BMP image files) into an internal binary format file (the file name: NT.mx). Rwalk.nb imports the NT.mx file (not the labeled raw CSV/TIFF/BMP files) as a 3-D perco- lated pore-cluster image data set. As NT.mx is optimized for fast input/output by Mathematica , we confirmed that im- porting the NT.mx file is about six times faster than import- ing the labeled raw CSV/TIFF/BMP files.

III. Application to Rhyolitic Lava Sample Images

The programs Itrimming.nb, Clabel.nb, and Rwalk.nb were applied to a CT image set of a rhyolitic lava sample to demonstrate their performance. A personal computer (PC) with an Intel Core2 Duo T7600 CPU (2.33 GHz) and 2 GB RAM running Windows XP was used for the demonstration. A CT image set of rhyolitic lava from the Mukaiyama volcano, 32) Niijima Island, Japan was used in the present study. This sample was chosen because (1) pores in rhyolitic lava are as large as several hundred micrometers in dimension (Fig. 9) and can be readily imaged by a con- ventional micro-focus X-ray CT apparatus, and (2) rhyolitic lava has a strong pore anisotropy 21) suitable for examining the diffusion anisotropy using the Rwalk.nb program. The total porosity of the lava sample was measured by an con- ventional laboratory method; it was 68 vol.%, calculated by 1 minus (bulk density of the porous rock)/(true density of the solid), where the bulk density of the porous rock

1240 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA Fig. 9 Photomicrograph of a thin section of Niijima lava

Fig. 10 Example of CT image trimming for the cylindrical sam- ple images of Niijima rhyolitic lava. Pores and ambient air are dark, and phenocrysts and groundmass are light in the CT image. The original image dimensions are 512 2 voxels = 7:8 2 mm 2 . The trimmed ROI indicated by the open square is 256 2 voxels = 3:9 2 mm 2 .

was 0.76 g/cm 3 and the true density of the solid 21) was

  • 2.39 g/cm 3 .

A cylindrical sample of the lava (7.5 mm in diameter,

8.1 mm in length) was prepared and scanned by a cone-beam micro-focus X-ray CT scanner (Nittetsu Elex Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). The imaging conditions were as follows: ac- celeration voltage, 50 kV; tube current, 0.035 mA; number of projections, 1,800; time required for 360 projection, 39 min; field of view of the 2-D slice, 7:8 2 mm 2 ; cubic voxel dimen- sions, 15:2 3 mm 3 (i.e., a ¼ 15:2 mm); reconstruction filter, Shepp Logan; reconstructed 3-D image system, 512 512 256 voxels. First, the original 3-D image system consisting of 512 512 256 voxels was trimmed using Itrimming.nb to extract a cubic ROI of 256 3 voxels = 3:9 3 mm 3 . The CPU time required was 9 min for the PC used. An example of a trimmed 2-D square region is shown in Fig. 10. Because a lava sample is highly porous and mechanically weak, the pore structure very near the surface of the cylindrical sample may be destroyed during cutting. To avoid including such a destroyed pore structure within the ROI, a smaller square re- gion (not inscribed within the cylinder) compared to that shown in Fig. 2 was chosen. The trimmed 3-D TIFF images are available at the previously mentioned URLs to enable readers to reproduce the cluster-labeling and tortuosity anal- ysis described below. Itrimming.nb exports a histogram of the 8-bit (i.e., 0 to 255) voxel intensity of the trimmed 256 3 voxels (Fig. 11). An analysis of the histogram is essential for the best choice of the threshold for discriminating between solid and air-fill- ed pores. Figure 11 shows a bimodal distribution having a

JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity

1241

500000 pore solid 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 number
500000
pore
solid
400000
300000
200000
100000
0
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
number of voxels
midpoint (122)

voxel intensity

Fig. 11 Histogram of the 8-bit (i.e., 0 to 255) voxel intensity of the 3-D ROI of 256 3 voxels = 3:9 3 mm 3 . The peaks of the pore and solid voxels are 39 and 205, respectively, yielding a mid- point (threshold) of 122. This threshold value yields a total po- rosity of 69 vol.%.

peak (intensity 39) of air-filled pore voxels with a low LAC and a peak (intensity 205) of solids with a high LAC. The boundary between solids and pores is blurred owing to the finite spatial resolution of the CT system. This is the undesir- able partial-volume effect, 42) which is responsible for the voxels located between the two peaks, namely 39 and 205 in Fig. 11. It is reasonable to assume that the probability of occupying a voxel at a solid-pore boundary is equal for both solids and pores. 15) This assumption leads to the choice of the midpoint (i.e., intensity 122) of the peaks as the threshold, implying that the voxels with an intensity equal to or smaller than 122 are pores. Based on this threshold val- ue, the number of pore voxels is 11,554,125 and, thus, the total porosity of the ROI is 11;554;125=256 3 69 vol.%. The choice of the threshold value is critical to the results of the pore-connectivity analysis and tortuosity calculation. Thus, the validity of the choice should be cross-checked by other methods. The total porosity of 69 vol.% is consis- tent with that of 68 vol.%, measured by the conventional lab- oratory method, implying that the choice of the midpoint as the threshold is reasonable. With a threshold of 122, Clabel.nb was applied to a cubic ROI of 256 3 voxels = 3:9 3 mm 3 , the output image file of Itrimming.nb. The results are shown graphically in Figs. 1214 and are summarized in Table 2. The CPU time required was 29 min for the PC used. Clabel.nb outputs the volume and surface area of each pore cluster, and the output is plotted in Fig. 12a. The volume of the largest or percolat- ed pore cluster is 11,507,114 voxels = 40.4 mm 3 . The sur- face areas of the largest cluster calculated according to def- initions A and B in the caption of Fig. 5 are 683 and 743 mm 2 , respectively. Thus, ðS=V Þ pore is 683/40.4

3 10 largest pore cluster 2 10 1 10 upper limit lower limit 0 10 –1
3
10
largest pore cluster
2
10
1
10
upper limit
lower limit
0
10
–1
10
–2
10
–3
10
10 –6 10 –5 10 –4
10 –3 10 –2 10 –1
10 0
10 1
10 2
pore cluster surface area (mm 2 )

pore cluster volume (mm 3 )

(a)

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity 500000 pore solid 400000

(b)

Fig. 12 Statistics of the labeled pore clusters. (a) Cross-plot of the volume, V , and surface area, S, of each pore cluster; 923 pore clusters were identified. The surface area was calculated accord- ing to definition A of the caption of Fig. 5. The theoretical upper and lower limits (Eqs. (11) and (12)) of the data points are shown by dotted lines. (b) 3-D pore structures for the theoretical upper and lower limits plotted in (a). A lattice-like fine pore network contact at a single face to the adjacent pore voxel is an example of the upper limit. An isolated blocky sphere yields the lower limit of the surface-to-volume ratio for a specified pore volume.

VOL. 44, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2007

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Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA

1242 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA (a) (b) Fig. 13 Cluster-labeling processing. (a) Example of a
(a) (b)
(a)
(b)

Fig. 13 Cluster-labeling processing. (a) Example of a 2-D slice (8-bit gray scale) at z ¼ 200 before cluster labeling for the ROI shown in Fig. 10; 256 2 voxels = 3:9 2 mm 2 . A 3-D Cartesi- an coordinate system is indicated. (b) Labeled color image of (a) after the 3-D cluster labeling for the cubic system of 256 3 voxels = 3:9 3 mm 3 . Yellow, the largest or percolated pore clus- ter; green, solid; purple, isolated pore clusters.

1242 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA (a) (b) Fig. 13 Cluster-labeling processing. (a) Example of a

(a)

1242 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA (a) (b) Fig. 13 Cluster-labeling processing. (a) Example of a

(b)

Fig. 14 Results of 3-D pore-cluster labeling. A commercially available 3-D viewer, T3D (ITT Visual Information Solutions, Colorado, USA), was used to visualize the 3-D image. The x-y plane is embedded within the 2-D CT slice, and z is the stacking direction of the slices based on the right-handed coordinate sys- tem. (a) 256 3 voxels = 3:9 3 mm 3 ; coloring as in Fig. 13b and Table 2. (b) Shaded part (slab of 31 256 2 voxels = 0:47 3:9 2 mm 3 ) extracted from (a). Solid and isolated pore voxels are made transparent in (b). Pores are elongated in the x-direction.

mm 1 = 1:69 10 4 m 1 or 743/40.4 mm 1 = 1:84 10 4 m 1 . The value of (the largest pore-cluster volume)/ (total pore-cluster volume) is as high as 11,507,114/ 11,554,125 = 99.6%, implying that almost all of the pores in the lava sample are connected to form a single percolated pore cluster responsible for the long-distance material trans- port in the rock by diffusion and the Darcy flow. It should be noted that the conventional 2-D photomicroscopy of a single

thin section (e.g., Fig. 9) cannot perform the 3-D pore con- nectivity analysis mentioned above. This is the advantage of the X-ray CT method over the photomicroscopy in the 3-D pore connectivity analysis. Although isolated pores occupy only 100 99:6 ¼ 0:4% of the pore space of the ROI, their number is as large as 922 (Table 2); this remarkable statistic is plotted in Fig. 12a.

JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity

Table 2

Results of cluster-labeling analysis of pore voxels in the 3-D 256 3 system of Fig. 14a

1243

 

Color of voxels

Number of pore clusters

Number of voxels

Total surface area (mm 2 )

Percolated pore

Yellow

1

11,507,114

683

Isolated pores

Purple

922

47,011

15

Solid

Green

5,223,091

Total

923

256 3

698

The definition A of Fig. 5 was employed.

This log-log plot of the isolated pore cluster data follows a slope (exponent) of 0.76. This is slightly larger than 2=3 0:67, the exponent of completely similar 3-D objects. It is useful to note here the theoretical upper and lower limits for sufficiently large clusters in Fig. 12a. For large clusters consisting of cubic voxels of dimension a, the upper limit is given by

4

S ¼

V

as V !1

 

ð11Þ

a

where S and V are the surface area and volume of the pore cluster, respectively. The 3-D shape of the pore cluster for

the upper

limit

is

not

unique;

an example is shown in

Fig. 12b. This is a fine pipe network characterized by the cross-sectional area of each pipe being as small as a 2 . On

the other hand, the 3-D shape for the lower limit is unique; it is an isolated spherical pore:

S ¼ 6

3V

4

2=3

as V !1

ð12Þ

It should be noted that, in a simple cubic lattice system, the surface of a sphere is not smooth but blocky (Fig. 12b). This rough surface yields an inevitable overestimation of the ðS=V Þ pore value 15) and the overestimation factor, 1.5, was considered in Eq. (12). The data points for the lava sample fall within the theoretical upper (S / V 1 ) and lower (S / V 2=3 ) limits, suggesting that cluster labeling was per- formed in a reliable manner. A detailed analysis of the Clabel.nb output revealed that there are two types of isolated pore clusters in Figs. 13b, 14a, and Table 2. The first type is pore clusters completely embedded within the 256 3 image system. The number of clusters of this type was 784 and the total volume was 24,347 voxels. Figure 13b depicts these pores, which are small sub-spherical vesicles probably formed during degass- ing from a cooling magma. The second type is pore clusters that reached the surface of the 256 3 image system. The num- ber of clusters of this type was 138 and the total volume was 22,664 voxels. Figure 14a includes examples of the isolated pore clusters that are connected to the surface of the 256 3 image system. This suggests that, if a larger ROI (e.g., 512 3 voxels) was employed, some of the 138 clusters would possibly be judged to be connected to the percolated clus- ter. 12) Although the program Kai3D.m 15) cannot export the la- beled 3-D images, it can output the volume and surface area of each pore cluster. Thus, Kai3D.m was applied to the same 3-D data set of the Niijima sample to check the performance

of Clabel.nb. The results (the volume and surface area of each cluster) by Kai3D.m were completely identical to those by Clabel.nb of Fig. 12a, demonstrating that Clabel.nb was programmed correctly. Because of the large porosity and high pore connectivity (Fig. 14), the percolated pore occupies a significant portion of the ROI, implying a small tortuosity. Figure 14 also

shows a pore anisotropy that indicates that the pores are

somewhat oblate (compressed in the y-direction), suggesting a relatively large tortuosity in the y-direction. These points were confirmed quantitatively by the random walk simula- tions described below. Before running Rwalk.nb, pre-processing with pre Rwalk csv.nb was performed to import the labeled CT images of Fig. 14a in a CSV format and to export an internal binary format file, NT.mx. The CPU time required was 1 min for the PC used. Then, the main program, Rwalk.nb, was run by importing NT.mx to output the mean-square displace-

ment (text files) and 3-D trajectories (on the PC display). The number of the walkers was 10,000 and the maximum time step was 400,000 for the tortuosity estimation. The walkers should travel a sufficiently long distance to probe the tortuosity according to Eq. (4). This condition is satisfied if the walkers travel a distance larger than the characteristic pore size. Because the pore size is typically 30 voxels (Fig. 13), the root-mean-square displacement should be larg- er than 30 voxels. The maximum time step value, 400,000, was chosen to allow the walkers to migrate a distance much larger than 30 voxels. The CPU time required was 15 hours for the PC used. If the vectorization technique mentioned above was not used, the time increased to 34 hours. An ex- ample of a long-distance random walk is shown in Fig. 15. The 3-D system size indicated by the wire frame in the figure was expanded 3 3 3 times the original 256 3 image sys- tem by the mirror operation described in Fig. 8b. It is evi- dent that the walkers leached out of the original system and traveled a long distance much larger than the character- istic pore size of 30 voxels. Therefore, the simulation is completely under the restricted diffusion regime (Fig. 7) for which the tortuosity can be calculated using Eq. (4). The mean-square displacement of 10,000 walkers is shown in Fig. 16. Equations (2), (4), and (10) become sim- ple if a is unity (dimensionless). Thus, a ¼ 1 was assumed in the figure, yielding a dimensionless mean-square displace- ment. A random walk in the free space without solids was also performed and plotted. The fitted slopes are 0.334, 0.334, 0.335, and 1.003 for hx 2 i, hy 2 i, hz 2 i, and hr 2 i, respec- tively. These agree well with theoretical predictions, namely,

VOL. 44, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2007

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Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA

(a)

1244 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA (a) (b) Fig. 15 Example of a 3-D trajectory of

(b)

1244 Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA (a) (b) Fig. 15 Example of a 3-D trajectory of

Fig. 15 Example of a 3-D trajectory of a single random walk trial through the percolated pore space in the Niijima lava sample with the boundary condition of Fig. 8b. The total time step is

400,000. The initial ( ¼ 0)

and final ( ¼ 400;000) positions

of the walker are marked by open circles. (a) Projected trajectory.

(b) Bird’s-eye-view trajectory.

<x 2 > percolated pore <y 2 > percolated pore <z 2 > percolated pore <x
<x 2 > percolated pore
<y 2 > percolated pore
<z 2 > percolated pore
<x 2 > free space
150000
<y 2 > free space
<z 2 > free space
100000
50000
0
0
100000
200000
300000
400000
dimensionless mean-square displacement

τ

(a) <r 2 > percolated pore <r 2 > free space 400000 300000 200000 100000 0
(a)
<r 2 > percolated pore
<r 2 > free space
400000
300000
200000
100000
0
0
100000 200000 300000 400000
τ
(b)
dimensionless mean-square displacement

Fig. 16 Dimensionless mean-square displacement of random walks in the Niijima percolated pore cluster averaged over 10,000 walkers. Results for a random walk in free space (i.e., po- rosity = 100 vol.%) are also shown. (a) Dimensionless mean- square displacement in the orthogonal directions, hx 2 i, hy 2 i, and hz 2 i calculated by Eqs. (7) to (9). The quantities, hx 2 i, hy 2 i, and hz 2 i in free space are indistinguishable, giving a common slope value of 1=3. (b) Dimensionless mean-square displace- ment, hr 2 i, calculated by Eq. (1).

JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

dimensionless mean-square displacement

<r 2 >/<r 2 > free

Mathematica Programs for the Analysis of Three-Dimensional Pore Connectivity and Anisotropic Tortuosity

1245

3000

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

<x 2 > <y 2 > <z 2 > <r 2 >
<x 2 >
<y 2 >
<z 2 >
<r 2 >

0

1000

2000

0.152, 0.114, 0.177, and 0.442 for hx 2 i, hy 2 i, hz 2 i, and hr 2 i,

respectively. Therefore, the tortuosity averaged over all di-

rections is 1=0:442 2:3. This value is significantly smaller

than that of the typical sedimentary rocks 12,22,33) probably

due to the large porosity and high pore connectivity of

the lava sample. The directional tortuosity is 1=ð3

0:152Þ 2:2, 1=ð3 0:114Þ 2:9, 1=ð3 0:177Þ 1:9,

for the x-, y-, and z-directions, respectively. The results indi-

cate that the pore structure is most tortuous in the y-direc- tion. This is consistent with the oblate pore structure of Fig. 14a. Similar diffusion anisotropy has been observed

for rhyolitic lava by the conventional laboratory diffusion experiments, 21) suggesting that the Rwalk.nb simulation per- formed reliably.

A Rwalk.nb simulation for a very short travel distance was performed to estimate the surface-to-volume ratio of the per- colated pore. The number of the walkers was 50,000 and the

maximum time step was 5,000. The root-mean-square dis- placement should be smaller than the characteristic pore size of 30 voxels to calculate the surface-to-volume ratio (Fig. 7). The maximum time step, 5,000, was chosen to allow the
(a) walkers to travel a distance as short as 30 voxels. According to the algorithm of Rwalk.nb, the start position of the 50,000

3000

τ

4000

5000

walkers was chosen randomly from among the percolated pore clusters consisting of 11,507,114 voxels. Thus, it should be noted that the calculated mean-square displacement and derived ðS=V Þ pore are quantities averaged over the whole im-

age system of 256 3 voxels. This is essential for the quantita- tive comparison of the ðS=V Þ pore value by Eq. (6) and that by Clabel.nb (Table 2 and Fig. 12a) which was obtained by the pore-connectivity scan of the whole image system. The NT.mx file used for the long-distance random walk of

Figs. 15 and 16 was used again for this short-distance ran- dom walk. The CPU time required was 55 min for the PC used.

The obtained dimensionless mean-square displacement, assuming a ¼ 1, is shown in Fig. 17a; a convex mean-

square displacement curve can be seen. This is evidence for a transition from the unrestricted diffusion regime to the restricted diffusion regime as described in Fig. 7. The di- mensionless mean-square displacement is mostly less than 1,000 and, thus, the root-mean-square displacement is small- er than 30 voxels, satisfying the short-distance random walk condition of Fig. 7. Figure 17a shows that hx 2 i hy 2 i hz 2 i for 1;000, ensuring that Eq. (6), which was developed for the isotropic porous media, is applicable to the anisotrop-

1

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

simulation data Equation (6) 0 200 400 600 800 1000
simulation data
Equation (6)
0
200
400
600
800
1000

τ

  • (b) ic lava sample if 1;000. Equation (6) was fitted to the normalized hr 2 i data to obtain ðS=V Þ pore ¼ 1:70 10 4 m 1 (Fig. 17b). The modified periodic boundary condition with the mirror operation (Fig. 8b) adopted for Rwalk.nb suggests that definition A in the caption of Fig. 5 should be used for the calculation of ðS=V Þ pore . According to the results of Clabel.nb (Table 2 and Fig. 12a), ðS=V Þ pore for definition A is 1:69 10 4 m 1 , nearly equal to 1:70 10 4 m 1 . This good agreement supports the reliability of (1) the perform- ance of Clabel.nb and Rwalk.nb programs and also (2) the methodology of the surface-to-volume ratio estimation by diffusometry and cluster labeling.

Fig. 17 Very early time stage of a random walk in the Niijima percolated pore cluster. (a) Dimensionless mean-square displace- ment averaged over 50,000 walkers. Note that hx 2 i hy 2 i hz 2 i for 1000. (b) Mean-square displacement, hr 2 i, of (a) normal- ized by hr 2 i free ¼ a 2 (solid curve). A dotted curve, Eq. (6), was fitted to the data points for 1000 to obtain ðS=V Þ pore ¼ 1:70 10 4 m 1 .

1/3 and 1 (see Eqs. (2) and (10)), suggesting that the simu- lation performed reliably. The fitted slopes for the random walk in the percolated pore cluster in the lava sample are

VOL. 44, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2007

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Y. NAKASHIMA and S. KAMIYA

IV. Conclusions

We have developed three original Mathematica pro- grams for the analysis of the 3-D pore connectivity and tor- tuosity of anisotropic porous rocks. These programs were successfully applied to the conventional micro-focus X-ray CT images of a rhyolitic lava sample having the anisotropic pore structure with 15.2 mm voxel dimension. The use of more advanced CT apparatus systems will allow a wider range of porous samples to be analyzed. For example, a su- per high-resolution synchrotron-based microtomographic system with sub-micrometer voxel dimensions is being de- veloped, 37) with which it will be possible to probe the pore structure of fine-grained bentonite 3841) by X-ray CT. Our programs run on the Mathematica version 5.2 installed in the various operating systems (Windows, Macintosh, Unix, and Linux). Three-dimensional pore images obtained by nu- clear magnetic resonance imaging 34,35) and neutron CT 36) (not X-ray CT images) are also acceptable. Thus, our pro- grams will be useful for a microscopic approach using the 3-D pore images for diverse studies on the transport of groundwater and contaminants through the natural and arti- ficial barriers at radioactive waste disposal sites.

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Dr. T. Nakano for pre-process- ing the raw CT images used in this study and also wish to thank others who provided helpful comments during the preparation of this paper. The financial support was provided by the Budget for Nuclear Research, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan with screening and counseling provided by the Atomic Energy Commission.

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