ABSTRACT:

Experimental and numerical results are presented for hydraulic fracture interactions with a discontinuity (representing a natural fracture, fault, or bedding interface) in a 2D configuration where viscous dissipation is dominant. A 2D boundary element code (MineHF2D) is used to simulate hydraulic fracture interaction using experimental parameters such as interface friction, injection system compressibility and fracture toughness. Crossing and arresting (blunting) hydraulic fracture behaviors have been observed in experimental and numerical results for orthogonal and inclined interfaces. Optical analysis of video records allows tracking of fracture pathways, growth rate and opening (fracture width). The experimental results are presented using the Renshaw-Pollard criterion and compared to numerical simulation outputs. The numerical predictions of crossing behavior, fracture pathways including offsets and crossing fracture re-initiation delay compared well with measurements.

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