Stress effects on permeability in fractured rock mass with correlated fracture length and aperture
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences, ISSN 1365-1609, Vol. 45, no 8, 1320-1334 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The effect of stress on permeability and fluid flow patterns in fractured rock masses is studied when distributed fracture aperture is correlated with fracture trace length, using a discrete element method (DEM). The basic assumptions are that the rock matrix is impermeable and linearly elastic, and that the fluid flows only in fractures. A new nonlinear algorithm is developed for prediction of normal stress-normal displacement behavior of fractures based on the Bandis model and the correlation between aperture and length. The results show that when small stress ratios (K = horizontal/vertical stress) are applied at the model boundaries, the overall permeability of the fracture network is generally decreased. However, contribution from a few large fractures of higher hydraulic conductivity prevents drastic reduction of the overall permeability, compared with models that assume uniform fracture apertures. With large values of the stress ratio, both the overall permeability and flow patterns are controlled by a combination of highly conductive larger fractures and fractures with shear slipping and dilation, with much increased overall permeability and shear-induced flow channeling. With increasing stress ratios, it becomes more and more difficult to establish an equivalent permeability tensor and representative elementary volume (REV) of a fractured rock, compared with the unstressed model. These results show significant difference between correlated and non-correlated aperture and fracture length distributions, and highlight more significant scale and stress dependence of hydro-mechanical behavior of fractures rocks when geometric parameters of rock fractures are correlated.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 45, no 8, 1320-1334 p.
Stress effect; Scale effect; Equivalent permeability tensor; Aperture-trace length correlation; Fracture rocks; Discrete fracture network; Deformability of fractures; Discrete element method; HYDRAULIC-PROPERTIES; FLUID-FLOW; FIELD DATA; NETWORKS; TENSOR; MODEL; DEFORMATION; STIFFNESS; JOINT; CALIBRATION
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8520DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2008.01.015ISI: 000260926500009ScopusID: 2-s2.0-55749098480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8520DiVA: diva2:13867
QC 201007012008-05-272008-05-272010-07-02Bibliographically approved