From invasion percolation to flow in rock fracture networks

  • Wettstein S
  • Wittel F
  • Arajo N
 et al. 
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Abstract

The main purpose of this work is to simulate two-phase flow in the form of immiscible displacement through anisotropic, three-dimensional (3D) discrete fracture networks (DFN). The considered DFNs are artificially generated, based on a general distribution function or are conditioned on measured data from deep geological investigations. We introduce several modifications to the invasion percolation (MIP) to incorporate fracture inclinations, intersection lines, as well as the hydraulic path length inside the fractures. Additionally a trapping algorithm is implemented that forbids any advance of the invading fluid into a region, where the defending fluid is completely encircled by the invader and has no escape route. We study invasion, saturation, and flow through artificial fracture networks, with varying anisotropy and size and finally compare our findings to well studied, conditioned fracture networks. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Discrete fracture networks
  • Invasion percolation
  • Permeability
  • Trapping
  • Two-phase flow

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Authors

  • Salomon J. Wettstein

  • Falk K. Wittel

  • Nuno A.M. Arajo

  • Bill Lanyon

  • Hans J. Herrmann

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