Embedded discontinuity finite element modeling of fluid flow in fractured porous media
Foster, Craig D.
Mohammad Nejad, Talisa
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In many geomaterials, particularly rocks and clays, permeability is greatly enhanced by the presence of fractures. Fracture sets create an overall permeability that is anisotropic, enhanced in the directions of the fractures. In modeling the fractures via a nite element method, for example, meshing around these fractures can become quite di cult and result in computationally intensive systems. In this article, we develop a relatively simple method for including the fractures within the elements. Flow through the bulk medium is assumed to be governed by Darcy's law, and the ow on the fracture by a generalization of the law. This model is embedded in a nite element framework, with the fractures passing through the elements. In this formulation, elements with fractures are given an enhanced permeability in the direction of the fractures. With these enhancements, the material essentially becomes anisotropically more permeable in the direction of fracture sets.