Modeling quasi-static poroelastic propagation using an asymptotic approach

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Since the formulation of poroelasticity (Biot(1941)) and its reformulation (Rice & Cleary(1976)), there have been many efforts to solve the coupled system of equations. Perhaps because of the complexity of the governing equations, most of the work has been directed towards finding numerical solutions. For example, Lewis and co-workers published early papers (Lewis & Schrefler(1978); Lewis et al.(1991)Lewis, Schrefler, & Simoni) concerned with finite-element methods for computing consolidation, subsidence, and examining the importance of coupling. Other early work dealt with flow in a deformable fractured medium (Narasimhan & Witherspoon 1976); Noorishad et al.(1984)Noorishad, Tsang, & Witherspoon. This effort eventually evolved ... continued below

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Vasco, D.W. November 1, 2007.

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Since the formulation of poroelasticity (Biot(1941)) and its reformulation (Rice & Cleary(1976)), there have been many efforts to solve the coupled system of equations. Perhaps because of the complexity of the governing equations, most of the work has been directed towards finding numerical solutions. For example, Lewis and co-workers published early papers (Lewis & Schrefler(1978); Lewis et al.(1991)Lewis, Schrefler, & Simoni) concerned with finite-element methods for computing consolidation, subsidence, and examining the importance of coupling. Other early work dealt with flow in a deformable fractured medium (Narasimhan & Witherspoon 1976); Noorishad et al.(1984)Noorishad, Tsang, & Witherspoon. This effort eventually evolved into a general numerical approach for modeling fluid flow and deformation (Rutqvist et al.(2002)Rutqvist, Wu, Tsang, & Bodvarsson). As a result of this and other work, numerous coupled, computer-based algorithms have emerged, typically falling into one of three categories: one-way coupling, loose coupling, and full coupling (Minkoff et al.(2003)Minkoff, Stone, Bryant, Peszynska, & Wheeler). In one-way coupling the fluid flow is modeled using a conventional numerical simulator and the resulting change in fluid pressures simply drives the deformation. In loosely coupled modeling distinct geomechanical and fluid flow simulators are run for a sequence of time steps and at the conclusion of each step information is passed between the simulators. In full coupling, the fluid flow and geomechanics equations are solved simultaneously at each time step (Lewis & Sukirman(1993); Lewis & Ghafouri(1997); Gutierrez & Lewis(2002)). One disadvantage of a purely numerical approach to solving the governing equations of poroelasticity is that it is not clear how the various parameters interact and influence the solution. Analytic solutions have an advantage in that respect; the relationship between the medium and fluid properties is clear from the form of the solution. Unfortunately, analytic solutions are only available for highly idealized conditions, such as a uniform (Rudnicki(1986)) or one-dimensional (Simon et al.(1984)Simon, Zienkiewicz, & Paul; Gajo & Mongiovi(1995); Wang & Kumpel(2003)) medium. In this paper I derive an asymptotic, semi-analytic solution for coupled deformation and flow. The approach is similar to trajectory- or ray-based methods used to model elastic and electromagnetic wave propagation (Aki & Richards(1980); Kline & Kay(1979); Kravtsov & Orlov(1990); Keller & Lewis(1995)) and, more recently, diffusive propagation (Virieux et al.(1994)Virieux, Flores-Luna, & Gibert; Vasco et al.(2000)Vasco, Karasaki, & Keers; Shapiro et al.(2002)Shapiro, Rothert, Rath, & Rindschwentner; Vasco(2007)). The asymptotic solution is valid in the presence of smoothly-varying, heterogeneous flow properties. The situation I am modeling is that of a formation with heterogeneous flow properties and uniform mechanical properties. The boundaries of the layer may vary arbitrary and can define discontinuities in both flow and mechanical properties. Thus, using the techniques presented here, it is possible to model a stack of irregular layers with differing mechanical properties. Within each layer the hydraulic conductivity and porosity can vary smoothly but with an arbitrarily large magnitude. The advantages of this approach are that it produces explicit, semi-analytic expressions for the arrival time and amplitude of the Biot slow and fast waves, expressions which are valid in a medium with heterogeneous properties. As shown here, the semi-analytic expressions provide insight into the nature of pressure and deformation signals recorded at an observation point. Finally, the technique requires considerably fewer computer resources than does a fully numerical treatment.

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  • Journal Name: Geophysical Journal International; Journal Volume: 142; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2007

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  • Report No.: LBNL-63547
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 937221
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897211

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  • November 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 5:57 p.m.

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Vasco, D.W. Modeling quasi-static poroelastic propagation using an asymptotic approach, article, November 1, 2007; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897211/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.