Gassmann Theory Applies to Nanoporous Media

Gennady Y. Gor, Boris Gurevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Recent progress in extraction of unconventional hydrocarbon resources has ignited the interest in the studies of nanoporous media. Since many thermodynamic and mechanical properties of nanoscale solids and fluids differ from the analogous bulk materials, it is not obvious whether wave propagation in nanoporous media can be described using the same framework as in macroporous media. Here we test the validity of Gassmann equation using two published sets of ultrasonic measurements for a model nanoporous medium, Vycor glass, saturated with two different fluids, argon, and n-hexane. Predictions of the Gassmann theory depend on the bulk and shear moduli of the dry samples, which are known from ultrasonic measurements and the bulk moduli of the solid and fluid constituents. The solid bulk modulus can be estimated from adsorption-induced deformation or from elastic effective medium theory. The fluid modulus can be calculated according to the Tait-Murnaghan equation at the solvation pressure in the pore. Substitution of these parameters into the Gassmann equation provides predictions consistent with measured data. Our findings set up a theoretical framework for investigation of fluid-saturated nanoporous media using ultrasonic elastic wave propagation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 16 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Gassmann equation
  • confined fluid
  • nanopores
  • ultrasound


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