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Connectivity-consistent mapping method for 2-D discrete fracture networks

Abstract : We present a new flow computation method in 2-D discrete fracture networks (DFN) intermediary between the classical DFN flow simulation method and the projection onto continuous grids. The method divides the simulation complexity by solving for flows successively at a local mesh scale and at the global domain scale. At the local mesh scale, flows are determined by classical DFN flow simulations and approximated by an equivalent hydraulic matrix (EHM) relating heads and flow rates discretized on the mesh borders. Assembling the equivalent hydraulic matrices provides for a domain-scale discretization of the flow equation. The equivalent hydraulic matrices transfer the connectivity and flow structure complexities from the local mesh scale to the domain scale. Compared to existing geometrical mapping or equivalent tensor methods, the EHM method broadens the simulation range of flow to all types of 2-D fracture networks both below and above the representative elementary volume (REV). Additional computation linked to the derivation of the local mesh-scale equivalent hydraulic matrices increases the accuracy and reliability of the method. Compared to DFN methods, the EHM method first provides a simpler domain-scale alternative permeability model. Second, it enhances the simulation capacities to larger fracture networks where flow discretization on the DFN structure yields system sizes too large to be solved using the most advanced multigrid and multifrontal methods. We show that the EHM method continuously moves from the DFN method to the tensor representation as a function of the local mesh-scale discretization. The balance between accuracy and model simplification can be optimally controlled by adjusting the domain-scale and local mesh-scale discretizations.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00604949
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 10:33:26 AM
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Delphine Roubinet, Jean-Raynald de Dreuzy, Philippe Davy. Connectivity-consistent mapping method for 2-D discrete fracture networks. Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union, 2010, 46, pp.W07532. ⟨10.1029/2009WR008302⟩. ⟨insu-00604949⟩

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