Discrete fracture fluid flow modeling and field applications in fractured rocks
AdvisorKulatilake, Pinnaduwa H. S. W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFluid flow modeling in fractured rocks is a complicated and important research and application topic in many fields such as geological, hydrogeological, environmental and petroleum engineering. Commonly used methods based on equivalent continuum assumption for fluid flow modeling can generally be applied directly to the porous geological media, but have limited applicability when the geological medium is dominated by fractures. It often happens that only limited time, cost, hydrogeological data and computer resources are available in solving a practical problem of the fluid flow modeling in fractured rocks. Therefore, it is a challenge, but necessary, to investigate the hydraulic behaviors and propose new approaches, procedures, and methodologies to build a reliable fluid flow model for fractured rocks with limited available related data. The general concepts on fluid flow modeling in fractured rocks are introduced firstly and the different ways to treat major and minor fractures in 2-D and 3-D discrete fracture fluid flow modeling are propounded. The author has investigated the relations between the hydraulic behaviors and fracture geometry parameters and found out the effect of fracture parameters on the Representative Elementary Volume (REV) for the fracture systems with statistically distributed fracture geometry parameters including the size, orientation and location. Further, a systemic procedure for fluid flow modeling in fractured rocks in two-dimensional domain is suggested and demonstrated through a 2-D case study for groundwater resources evaluation. Six 3-D conceptual linear pipe discrete fracture fluid flow models which focus on the utilization of fracture information are proposed to simulate packer or pumping tests conducted in fractured rock masses. These models can reflect channel flow in fractures, simplify and minimize the complexity of fluid flow in fractures, save computer resources and increase the possibility to solve a field problem at large scales, and implement a discrete fracture fluid flow model easily. Finally, the author has developed a practicable systemic approach to determine the REV for hydraulic properties and then the hydraulic conductivity tensor for the REV in fractured rocks using single well packer test results. These procedures are illustrated through a 3-D case study by implementing the proposed fluid flow models.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining and Geological Engineering