Modelling fluid flows through multiple discrete fractures using finite elements for ground energy problems
Richard Sandford  1@  , Hywel Thomas  1@  
1 : School of Engineering, Cardiff University  -  Website
Cardiff School of Engineering Cardiff University Queen's Buildings The Parade CARDIFF CF24 3AA Wales, UK. -  United Kingdom

Many geo-energy and geo-environmental problems require reliable and accurate predictions of fluid flow through fractured/faulted media. Examples of such problems include the extraction of methane from shale, the sequestration of carbon dioxide in coal beds and the circulation of water through faulted rock as part of an enhanced geothermal system (EGS). Computational modelling is important for the systematic assessment of the feasibility, reliability and performance of these technologies. Central to this computational modelling are the procedures used to account for the fluid flow through the fractures and its transfer in/out of the surrounding bulk material. In the following, a computational approach to modelling fluid flow through fractures is summarised, with an example simulation considered to demonstrate the influence of fracture aperture on the flow characteristics.

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