Granular salt can be used to construct high performance permanent seals in boreholes which penetrate rock salt formations. These seals are described as seal systems comprised of the host rock, the seal material, and the seal rock interface. The performance of these seal systems is defined by the complex interactions between these seal system components through time. The interactions are largely driven by the creep of the host formation applying boundary stress on the seal forcing consolidation of the granular salt. The permeability of well constructed granular salt seal systems is expected to approach the host rock permeability (<10-21 m2 (10−9 darcy)) with time. The immediate permeability of these seals is dependent on the emplaced density. Laboratory test results suggest that careful emplacement techniques could result in immediate seal system permeability on the order of 10−16 m2 to 10−18 (10−4 darcy to 10−6 darcy). The visco-plastic behavior of the host rock coupled with the granular salts ability to "heal" or consolidate make granular salt an ideal sealing material for boreholes whose permanent sealing is required.

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