Numerical simulation of fluid flow through deformable natural fracture network

Peijie Yin&Gaofeng Zhao

In this paper, fluid flow through naturalfracture network is studied using computational fluiddynamics. To investigate the influence of fractureroughness, normal deformation and shear deformationon the fracture transmissivity/permeability, numericaltests of fluid flow through 3D rock fracture areconducted using the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM)in a middle size cluster. An empirical equation wasobtained from the numerical results. Following this,natural fracture networks are built for fluid dynamicssimulation of fluid flow through rock fracture network.It is found that the pipe network model enriched withthe derived empirical equation can produce similarresults compared with the LBM simulation whichfurther confirms the empirical equation’s applicability. Finally, influences of fracture length, fracturedensity, and deformation of the fracture network onthe fluid flow are studied preliminarily from couplingLBM with the discrete fracture network model anddiscrete element model.

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