Simulation of hydraulic fracture networks in three dimensions utilizing massively parallel computing platforms

Randolph R Settgast, S Johnson, P Fu, S.D.C. Walsh, F J Ryerson, T Antoun

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Hydraulic fracturing has been an enabling technology for commercially stimulating fracture networks for over half of a century. It has become one of the most widespread technologies for engineering subsurface fracture systems. Despite the ubiquity of this technique in the field, understanding and prediction of the hydraulic induced propagation of the fracture network in realistic, heterogeneous reservoirs has been limited. A number of developments in multiscale modeling in recent years have allowed researchers in related fields to tackle the modeling of complex fracture propagation as well as the mechanics of heterogeneous materials. These developments, combined with advances in quantifying solution uncertainties, provide possibilities for the geologic modeling community to capture both the fracturing behavior and longer-term permeability evolution of rock masses under hydraulic loading across both dynamic and viscosity-dominated regimes. Here we will demonstrate the first phase of this effort through illustrations of fully three-dimensional, tightly coupled hydromechanical simulations of hydraulically induced fracture network propagation run on massively parallel computing scales, and discuss preliminary results regarding the mechanisms by which fracture interactions and the accompanying changes to the stress field can lead to deleterious or beneficial changes to the fracture network.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventFall Meeting of the American-Geophysical-Union 2012 - San Francisco, United States of America
Duration: 3 Dec 20127 Dec 2012


ConferenceFall Meeting of the American-Geophysical-Union 2012
CountryUnited States of America
CitySan Francisco

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