Thermal expansions and beats of reaction of three typical sandstones were measured in the temperature range of 250° to 1,000°C. The significance of these data in subsurface heat-transfer calculations is discussed.

Linear thermal expansions were measured both parallel and perpendicular to the bedding planes. Volume expansions are reported as the perpendicular expansion plus two times the parallel expansion. Expansion behavior of the sandstones was found to be controlled by the expansion characteristics of the quartz content. Differential expansion of the quartz grains and other minerals included in the sandstones caused permanent de formation of the heated samples after they were cooled to room temperature. Structural damage resulting from heating is probably an important cause of the reduction of thermal conductivity of heated samples.

Measurements of heats of reaction were based on the known heat required for a-ß quartz inversion. Thermal reactions, which probably include dehydroxylation of clay minerals and decomposition of carbonate minerals contained within the samples, were found to require more than one-fourth of the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of the rock alone. In shales and limestones, the reaction heat could be substantially greater than that required from specific heat considerations alone.


In earlier work, methods of measuring thermal properties were developed and thermal data for several sedimentary rock types were reported. Data included thermal conductivity, specific heat and thermal diffusivity. In addition, calculations of heat transfer in subsurface formations may require data on the thermal-expansion characteristics of rock and the heats of reaction of mineral constituents.

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