Description: The main objectives of this project are to quantify the changes in fracture porosity and multi-phase transport properties as a function of confining stress. These changes will be integrated into conceptual and numerical models that will improve our ability to predict and optimize fluid transport in fractured system. This report details our progress on: (1) developing the direct experimental measurements of fracture aperture and topology using high-resolution x-ray micro-tomography, (2) modeling of fracture permeability in the presence of asperities and confining stress, and (3) simulation of two-phase fluid flow in a fracture and a layered matrix. The three-dimensional surface that describes the large-scale structure of the fracture in the porous medium can be determined using x-ray micro-tomography with significant accuracy. The distribution of fracture aperture is a difficult issue that we are studying and developing methods of quantification. The difficulties are both numerical and conceptual. Numerically, the three-dimensional data sets include millions, and sometimes, billions of points, and pose a computational challenge. The conceptual difficulties derive from the rough nature of the fracture surfaces, and the heterogeneous nature of the rock matrix. However, the high-resolution obtained by the imaging system provides us a much needed measuring environment on rock samples that are subjected to simultaneous fluid flow and confining stress. The absolute permeability of a fracture depends on the behavior of the asperities that keep it open. A model is being developed that predicts the permeability and average aperture of a fracture as a function of time under steady flow of water including the pressure solution at the asperity contact points. Several two-phase flow experiments in the presence of a fracture tip were performed in the past. At the present time, we are developing an inverse process using a simulation model to understand the fluid flow patterns in the presence ...
Date: April 20, 2002
Creator: Grader, A.S.; Elsworth, D.; Halleck, P.M.; Alvarad, F.; Yasuhara, H. & Alajmi, A.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department