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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 1 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 91-98, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-91-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  18 Jan 2010

18 Jan 2010

Thermal conductivity of unsaturated clay-rocks

D. Jougnot1,2,3,* and A. Revil1,3 D. Jougnot and A. Revil
  • 1Colorado School of Mines, Green Center, Dept. of Geophysics, Golden, CO 80401, USA
  • 2ANDRA, 1–7 rue Jean Monnet, 92298 Chatenay-Malabry, France
  • 3CNRS- LGIT (UMR 5559), University of Savoie, Equipe Volcan, Le Bourget-du-Lac, France
  • *now at: Institut of Geophysics, Amphipôle, UNIL, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. The parameters used to describe the electrical conductivity of a porous material can be used to describe also its thermal conductivity. A new relationship is developed to connect the thermal conductivity of an unsaturated porous material to the thermal conductivity of the different phases of the composite, and two electrical parameters called the first and second Archie's exponents. A good agreement is obtained between the new model and thermal conductivity measurements performed using packs of glass beads and core samples of the Callovo-Oxfordian clay-rocks at different saturations of the water phase. We showed that the three model parameters optimised to fit the new model against experimental data (namely the thermal conductivity of the solid phase and the two Archie's exponents) are consistent with independent estimates. We also observed that the anisotropy of the effective thermal conductivity of the Callovo-Oxfordian clay-rock was mainly due to the anisotropy of the thermal conductivity of the solid phase.

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