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Progress on Discrete Fracture Network models with implications on the predictions of permeability and flow channeling structure

Abstract : We present progress on Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) flow modeling, including realistic advanced DFN spatial structures and local fracture transmissivity properties, through an application to the Forsmark site in Sweden. DFN models are a framework to combine fracture datasets from different sources and scales and to interpolate them in combining statistical distributions and stereological relations. The resulting DFN upscaling function – size density distribution - is a model component key to extrapolating fracture size densities between data gaps, from borehole core up to site scale. Another important feature of DFN models lays in the spatial correlations between fractures, with still unevaluated consequences on flow predictions. Indeed, although common Poisson (i.e. spatially random) models are widely used, they do not reflect these geological evidences for more complex structures. To model them, we define a DFN growth process from kinematic rules for nucleation, growth and stopping conditions. It mimics in a simplified way the geological fracturing processes and produces DFN characteristics -both upscaling function and spatial correlations- fully consistent with field observations. DFN structures are first compared for constant transmissivities. Flow simulations for the kinematic and equivalent Poisson DFN models show striking differences: with the kinematic DFN, connectivity and permeability are significantly smaller, down to a difference of one order of magnitude, and flow is much more channelized. Further flow analyses are performed with more realistic transmissivity distribution conditions (sealed parts, relations to fracture sizes, orientations and in-situ stress field). The relative importance of the overall DFN structure in the final flow predictions is discussed.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:30:58 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:39:35 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01734784, version 1



Caroline Darcel, Philippe Davy, Romain Le Goc, Julien Maillot, Jan-Olof Selroos. Progress on Discrete Fracture Network models with implications on the predictions of permeability and flow channeling structure. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. pp.H21C-1463. ⟨insu-01734784⟩



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