ABSTRACT:

We have developed a new micro-mechanical modeling framework to study the combined effect of shear and normal stress upon preexisting rough fractures. The surface roughness and aperture of preexisting fractures is highly dependent upon the dynamic stress behavior within rock formations. Due to shear slippage, or variation in normal stress, pre-existing fractures may become more or less conductive. Where such changes are caused by purely elastic deformation, plastic deformation, material failure, or a combination thereof. The numerical modeling framework demonstrated herein is based upon the meshless Material Point Method (MPM). In using MPM, the framework captures large deformations due to applied shear and normal stresses, where no special geometric treatment is required at the point of contact between fracture surfaces. Initial fracture geometries are synthetically generated based upon a statistical approach. This work investigates the effect of increased constraining forces on the total amount of dilation produced during shear deformation.

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