Two-level simulation of injection-induced fracture slip and wing-crack propagation in poroelastic media
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences. 2022, 160, 105248. 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2022.105248
In fractured poroelastic media under high differential stress, the shearing of pre-existing fractures and faults and propagation of wing cracks can be induced by fluid injection. This paper presents a two-dimensional mathematical model and a numerical solution approach for coupling fluid flow with fracture shearing and propagation under hydraulic stimulation by fluid injection. Numerical challenges are related to the strong coupling between hydraulic and mechanical processes, the material discontinuity the fractures represent in the medium, and the strong effect that fracture deformation and propagation have on the physical processes. The solution approach is based on a two-level strategy that is classified into the coarse and fine levels. In the coarse level, flow in and poroelastic deformation of the matrix are coupled with the flow in the fractures and fracture contact mechanics, allowing fractures to frictionally slide. Fracture propagation is handled at the fine level, where the maximum tangential stress criterion triggers the propagation of fractures, and Paris' law governs the fracture growth processes. Simulations show how the shearing of a fracture due to fluid injection is linked to fracture propagation, including cases with hydraulically and mechanically interacting fractures.