The coupling between mechanical deformation and fluid flow in porous media is crucial for resource engineering applications such as solution mining, hydrocarbon recovery, carbon dioxide geosequestration, and coal seam gas mining. With the growing demand on energy and minerals, there is an increasing need to target unconventional naturally fractured deposits. These unconventional porous media typically exhibit non-linear material behaviour, finite deformations, large geometrical changes, and complex energy exchanges that remain poorly understood. Yet, most of the existing resource geomechanics simulators are limited to infinitesimal descriptions, ignore non-linear geometrical changes, and/or partially decouple the physical processes that take place in geological deposits. This is problematic because severe man-made geomechanical accidents usually induce large deformations that include non-linear material behaviour as well as non-linear geometrical changes and involve more than a single physical process. Therefore, mitigating large-scale failures using conventional geomechanics simulators is precarious. We propose an advanced non-linear poromechanics formulation and a high performance computing approach to investigate the finite deformation of poro-materials embedding natural faults and study the impact of multi-physics coupling and finite energy exchanges on the reactivation, propagation and coalescence of damage zones.


Coupled multi-physics is attracting increasing interest because of its significance to various engineering applications in the resource industry including solution mining, hydrocarbon recovery, energy harnessing, nuclear waste storage and carbon dioxide sequestration. Recent progress has been made by developing multi-physics formulations and numerical implementations that are comprehensive and take into consideration several intrinsic scales (Poulet, Regenauer-Lieb, & Karrech 2010, Karrech, Seibi, & Duhamel 2011, Karrech, Poulet, & Regenauer-Lieb 2012, Karrech 2013, Regenauer-Lieb, Veveakis, M., T., Karrech, Liu, Hauser, Schrank, Graede, & Trefry 2013a, Regenauer-Lieb, Veveakis, M., T., Karrech, Liu, Hauser, Schrank, Graede, & Trefry 2013b, among others). The pioneering contributions to coupled multi-physics can be attributed to Biot and Coussy who suggested the first mathematical theories of poromechanics based on thermodynamic considerations (Biot 1962, Biot 1972, Coussy 2004). Thus, the basic ideas of fluid flow in deformable porous media have been developed coherently. Subsequent contributions have related the overall behaviour of geomaterials to local micro-scale conditions through the so-called laws of multiscaling (Dormieux & Stoltz 1992, Buhan, Chateau, & Dormieux 1998, Chateau & Dormieux 2002). Along with the principles of non-equilibrium thermodynamics that relate thermodynamic force and fluxes (Onsager 1931, Prigogine 1967, DeGroot & Mazur 1984), multi-scaling is among the pillars of the multi-physics realm.

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