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Macroscopic permeability of three-dimensional fracture networks with power-law size distribution

Abstract : Fracture network permeability is investigated numerically by using a three-dimensional model of plane polygons uniformly distributed in space with sizes following a power-law distribution. Each network is triangulated via an advancing front technique, and the flow equations are solved in order to obtain detailed pressure and velocity fields. The macroscopic permeability is determined on a scale which significantly exceeds the size of the largest fractures. The influence of the parameters of the fracture size distribution—the power-law exponent and the minimal fracture radius—on the macroscopic permeability is analyzed. Eventually, a general expression is proposed, which is the product of a dimensional measure of the network density, weighted by the individual fracture conductivities, and of a fairly universal function of a dimensionless network density, which accounts for the influences of the fracture shapes and of the parameters of their size distribution. Two analytical formulas are proposed which successfully fit the numerical data over a wide range of network densities.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03600283
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 4:34:00 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 3:36:00 AM
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V. V. Mourzenko, J. -F. Thovert, P. M. Adler. Macroscopic permeability of three-dimensional fracture networks with power-law size distribution. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2004, 69, pp. 327-345. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.69.066307⟩. ⟨insu-03600283⟩

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