skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Phase field model of fluid-driven fracture in elastic media: Immersed-fracture formulation and validation with analytical solutions

Abstract

Propagation of fluid-driven fractures plays an important role in natural and engineering processes, including transport of magma in the lithosphere, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, and oil and gas recovery from low-permeability formations, among many others. The simulation of fracture propagation poses a computational challenge as a result of the complex physics of fracture and the need to capture disparate length scales. Phase field models represent fractures as a diffuse interface and enjoy the advantage that fracture nucleation, propagation, branching, or twisting can be simulated without ad hoc computational strategies like remeshing or local enrichment of the solution space. Here we propose a new quasi-static phase field formulation for modeling fluid-driven fracturing in elastic media at small strains. The approach fully couples the fluid flow in the fracture (described via the Reynolds lubrication approximation) and the deformation of the surrounding medium. The flow is solved on a lower dimensionality mesh immersed in the elastic medium. This approach leads to accurate coupling of both physics. We assessed the performance of the model extensively by comparing results for the evolution of fracture length, aperture, and fracture fluid pressure against analytical solutions under different fracture propagation regimes. Thus, the excellent performance of themore » numerical model in all regimes builds confidence in the applicability of phase field approaches to simulate fluid-driven fracture.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]
  1. Technical Univ. of Madrid, Madrid (Spain). Dept. of Civil Engineering: Hydraulics, Energy, and Environment
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
  3. Technical Univ. of Madrid, Madrid (Spain). Dept. of Civil Engineering: Hydraulics, Energy, and Environment; Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) (Spain); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); José Entrecanales Ibarra Foundation
OSTI Identifier:
1423943
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0009297; CTM2014-54312-P; SC0009286; RyC-2012-11704
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; phase field model; fluid-driven fracturing

Citation Formats

Santillán, David, Juanes, Ruben, and Cueto-Felgueroso, Luis. Phase field model of fluid-driven fracture in elastic media: Immersed-fracture formulation and validation with analytical solutions. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2016JB013572.
Santillán, David, Juanes, Ruben, & Cueto-Felgueroso, Luis. Phase field model of fluid-driven fracture in elastic media: Immersed-fracture formulation and validation with analytical solutions. United States. doi:10.1002/2016JB013572.
Santillán, David, Juanes, Ruben, and Cueto-Felgueroso, Luis. Thu . "Phase field model of fluid-driven fracture in elastic media: Immersed-fracture formulation and validation with analytical solutions". United States. doi:10.1002/2016JB013572. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1423943.
@article{osti_1423943,
title = {Phase field model of fluid-driven fracture in elastic media: Immersed-fracture formulation and validation with analytical solutions},
author = {Santillán, David and Juanes, Ruben and Cueto-Felgueroso, Luis},
abstractNote = {Propagation of fluid-driven fractures plays an important role in natural and engineering processes, including transport of magma in the lithosphere, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, and oil and gas recovery from low-permeability formations, among many others. The simulation of fracture propagation poses a computational challenge as a result of the complex physics of fracture and the need to capture disparate length scales. Phase field models represent fractures as a diffuse interface and enjoy the advantage that fracture nucleation, propagation, branching, or twisting can be simulated without ad hoc computational strategies like remeshing or local enrichment of the solution space. Here we propose a new quasi-static phase field formulation for modeling fluid-driven fracturing in elastic media at small strains. The approach fully couples the fluid flow in the fracture (described via the Reynolds lubrication approximation) and the deformation of the surrounding medium. The flow is solved on a lower dimensionality mesh immersed in the elastic medium. This approach leads to accurate coupling of both physics. We assessed the performance of the model extensively by comparing results for the evolution of fracture length, aperture, and fracture fluid pressure against analytical solutions under different fracture propagation regimes. Thus, the excellent performance of the numerical model in all regimes builds confidence in the applicability of phase field approaches to simulate fluid-driven fracture.},
doi = {10.1002/2016JB013572},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth},
number = 4,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Hydraulic fracturing in a sedimentary geothermal reservoir: Results and implications
journal, October 2005

  • Legarth, B.; Huenges, E.; Zimmermann, G.
  • International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, Vol. 42, Issue 7-8, p. 1028-1041
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2005.05.014