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Origin of permeability and structure of flows in fractured media

Abstract : After more than three decades of research, flows in fractured media have been shown to result from multi-scale geological structures. Flows result non-exclusively from the damage zone of the large faults, from the percolation within denser networks of smaller fractures, from the aperture heterogeneity within the fracture planes and from some remaining permeability within the matrix. While the effect of each of these causes has been studied independently, global assessments of the main determinisms is still needed. We propose a general approach to determine the geological structures responsible for flows, their permeability and their organization based on field data and numerical modeling [de Dreuzy et al., 2012b]. Multi-scale synthetic networks are reconstructed from field data and simplified mechanical modeling [Davy et al., 2010]. High-performance numerical methods are developed to comply with the specificities of the geometry and physical properties of the fractured media [Pichot et al., 2010; Pichot et al., 2012]. And, based on a large Monte-Carlo sampling, we determine the key determinisms of fractured permeability and flows (Figure). We illustrate our approach on the respective influence of fracture apertures and fracture correlation patterns at large scale. We show the potential role of fracture intersections, so far overlooked between the fracture and the network scales. We also demonstrate how fracture correlations reduce the bulk fracture permeability. Using this analysis, we highlight the need for more specific in-situ characterization of fracture flow structures. Fracture modeling and characterization are necessary to meet the new requirements of a growing number of applications where fractures appear both as potential advantages to enhance permeability and drawbacks for safety, e.g. in energy storage, stimulated geothermal energy and non-conventional gas productions. References Davy, P., et al. (2010), A likely universal model of fracture scaling and its consequence for crustal hydromechanics, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth, 115, 13. de Dreuzy, J.-R., et al. (2012a), Influence of fracture scale heterogeneity on the flow properties of three-dimensional Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN), J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf., 117(B11207), 21 PP. de Dreuzy, J.-R., et al. (2012b), Synthetic benchmark for modeling flow in 3D fractured media, Computers and Geosciences(0). Pichot, G., et al. (2010), A Mixed Hybrid Mortar Method for solving flow in Discrete Fracture Networks, Applicable Analysis, 89(10), 1729-1643. Pichot, G., et al. (2012), Flow simulation in 3D multi-scale fractured networks using non-matching meshes, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (SISC), 34(1).
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 27, 2015 - 1:57:22 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 15, 2021 - 3:34:07 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01121097, version 1


Jean-Raynald de Dreuzy, Caroline Darcel, Philippe Davy, Jocelyne Erhel, Romain Le Goc, et al.. Origin of permeability and structure of flows in fractured media. AGU Fall Meeting 2013, American Geophysical Union, Dec 2013, San Francisco, France. pp.H51O-05. ⟨insu-01121097⟩



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