Characterization of Retention Processes and their Effect on the Analysis of Tracer Tests in Fractured Reservoirs

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Retention processes such as adsorption and diffusion into an immobile region can effect tracer movement through a fractured reservoir. This study has conducted experimental work and has developed a two-dimensional model to characterize retention processes. A method to directly determine some important flow parameters, such as the fracture aperture, from the analysis of tracer tests has been developed as a result of the new two-dimensional model.The experimental work consisted of batch experiments designed to both reproduce earlier work and to determine the magnitude of the retention effects. Negligible retention was observed from which it was concluded that the batch experiments were not sensitive enough and that more sensitive flowing tests were needed.A two-dimensional model that represents a fractured medium by a mobile region, in which convection, diffusion, and adsorption are allowed, and an immobile region in which only diffusion and adsorption are allowed has been developed. It was possible to demonstrate how each of the mass-transfer processes included in the model affect tracer return curves by producing return curves for any set of the defining variables.Field data from the New Zealand was numerically fit with the model. The optimum values of the parameters determined from curve fitting provided a direct estimate of the fracture width and could be used to estimate other important flow parameters if experimentally determinable values were known.


Type of resource text
Date created June 1984


Author Walkup Jr, Gardner William
Primary advisor Horne, Roland N.
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Petroleum Engineering


Subject School of Earth Energy & Environmental Sciences
Genre Thesis

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Walkup Jr, Gardner William. (1984). Characterization of Retention Processes and their Effect on the Analysis of Tracer Tests in Fractured Reservoirs. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Master's Theses, Doerr School of Sustainability

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