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Modelling the variation in the behaviour of pre-fractured rocks subjected to hydraulic fracturing with permeability of the rock matrix using finite-discrete element method

Roshankhah, Shahrzad and Nejad, Arman K. and Teran, Orlando and Mohammadi, Kami (2020) Modelling the variation in the behaviour of pre-fractured rocks subjected to hydraulic fracturing with permeability of the rock matrix using finite-discrete element method. E3S Web of Conferences, 205 . Art. No. 08001. ISSN 2267-1242.

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In this study, we present the results of two-dimensional numerical simulations for the effects of rock matrix permeability on the behaviour of hydraulic fractures in intact and pre-fractured rocks. The simulations are performed using the Finite-Discrete Element Method (FDEM). In this method, the deformation and fluid pressure fields within the porous rock blocks, pre-existing fracture network, and hydraulically induced fractures are calculated through a fully coupled hydromechanical scheme. Furthermore, new fractures can initiate in crack elements located between each pair of finite elements and can propagate in any path that the boundary and loading conditions require according to non-linear fracture mechanics criteria. Fluid channels are also defined between pairs of finite elements simulating the inter-connected flow paths through porous media. Four models of the rock mass are created in this study: (i) homogeneous-impermeable, (ii) homogeneous-permeable, (iii) heterogeneous-impermeable matrix, and (iv) heterogeneous-permeable matrix. Heterogeneous rock masses contain a discrete fracture network (natural fractures) in the rock mass structure. Hydraulic fracturing is modelled in domains of 40×40 m2 with the four different structures and mass transport capacities, and the results are compared to each other. The results highlight the significant effect of diffusive fluid flow through rock blocks, in addition to the flow through fracture network, on the global hydromechanical behaviour of the rock mass. These results help to understand the governing hydromechanical processes taking place in fractured rocks with matrix of different permeability, such as granites, shales, carbonate rocks, and sandstones and the extent of complexities required to model their behaviour to achieve reasonable accuracy.

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URLURL TypeDescription
Roshankhah, Shahrzad0000-0002-1160-7882
Mohammadi, Kami0000-0001-5006-3200
Additional Information:© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Published online 18 November 2020. Authors would like to thank MicroSeismic Inc. for providing the opportunity for this collaboration and Geomechanica Inc. for providing excellent technical support.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201118-124343011
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106728
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Nov 2020 20:57
Last Modified:18 Nov 2020 20:57

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