Radu, Jean-Pol[Université de Liège - ULg > Département Argenco : Secteur GEO3 > Géomécanique et géologie de l'ingénieur >]
Collin, Frédéric[Université de Liège - ULg > Département Argenco : Secteur GEO3 > Géomécanique et géologie de l'ingénieur >]
Charlier, Robert[Université de Liège - ULg > Département Argenco : Secteur GEO3 > Géomécanique et géologie de l'ingénieur >]
Numerical models in Geomechanics
Pande, G. N.
10-12 april 2002
[en] A numerical approach for modeling coupled hydro-mechanical fracture behavior is proposed. The movement of fluids through rock fractures is important in many engineering areas of practical interest such as those ones of petroleum and mining engineering. In that context, one of the most investigated and complex subjects is the effect on well productivity due to changes in hydraulic conductivity both on the matrix rock and on its main fractures. It is well known, that these flow characteristics are strongly controlled by fracture apertures. Recent investigations on the distribution of the apertures in natural fractures suggest that the cubic law can, better than the Darcy law, predict the fluid flux through rough walled fractures as long as the appropriate average fracture aperture is used. A finite element code is developed to predict the influence that the stresses variation in the soil has on the distributed hydraulic conductivity field. The proposed model combines the stochastic cubic law with a non-linear deformation function (hyperbolic) that is suggested to describe the stress-closure/opening curves of the joints and that allows to couple together the hydraulic and the mechanic fracture behavior. The relationships used and the validity of the present model are tested through comparison between experimental data and numerical predictions (Bart 2000) in various boundary and loading conditions. Comparison between the Darcy model governing fluid flow equation and linear stress-closure/opening relation has also been performed showing the differences and the better de-scription given by the proposed new model.