Description: Elastic behavior of geomechanical systems with interacting (but not intersecting) fractures is treated using generalizations of the Backus and the Schoenberg-Muir methods for analyzing layered systems whose layers are intrinsically anisotropic due to locally aligned fractures. By permitting the axis of symmetry of the locally anisotropic compliance matrix for individual layers to differ from that of the layering direction, we derive analytical formulas for interacting fractured regions with arbitrary orientations to each other. This procedure provides a systematic tool for studying how contiguous, but not yet intersecting, fractured domains interact, and provides a direct (though approximate) means of predicting when and how such interactions lead to more dramatic weakening effects and ultimately to failure of these complicated systems. The method permits decomposition of the system elastic behavior into specific eigenmodes that can all be analyzed, and provides a better understanding about which of these specific modes are expected to be most important to the evolving failure process.
Date: October 15, 2009
Creator: Berryman, J.G. & Aydin, A.
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