Department: Structural Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Center for Extreme Events Research
Faculty Advisor(s): Jiun-Shyan Chen

Primary Student
Name: Haoyan Wei
Email: h4wei@ucsd.edu
Phone: 310-500-0975
Grad Year: 2016

Hydraulic fracturing technology has been developed to achieve efficient exploitation of hydrocarbons in unconventional reservoirs. Although great progress has been made in recent years, the knowledge of the actual fracturing process and the resulting fracture patterns and their potential environmental impact is mostly empirical. Therefore, a robust meshfree computational framework is being developed, which will improve the understanding of hydraulic fracturing and thus lead to more efficient and safer reservoir treatment. A fluid pressure projection method is formulated under a stabilized nodal integration framework which enables a significant enhancement of the computational efficiency and accuracy, and the spurious fluid pressure oscillation due to low permeable or undrained conditions is also eliminated. Arbitrary fracture patterns as well as their complex growth and interaction pose substantial challenges for numerical methods, as currently the strong discontinuity representation and tracking techniques are usually computationally expensive and sometimes even infeasible. To overcome such difficulty, the cracking particle concept is employed, where a set of cracked segments is injected directly at the discretization nodes upon the detection of material instability caused by micro-crack coalescence. In addition, the fracture induced permeability evolution can be naturally obtained in the proposed method, leading to an efficient fully coupled hydro-mechanical simulation framework.

Industry Application Area(s)
Civil/Structural Engineering | Energy/Clean technology | Software, Analytics

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