Authors: Jafari, A; Vahab, M; Khalili, N

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Jafari, A, Vahab, M & Khalili, N 2022, 'Multiphysics modelling of fractures in porous media using eXtended finite element method', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1201-1210,

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Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to increase the extent of rock fractures via injecting highly pressurised fluid. A key parameter controlling the efficiency of such a stimulation technique is to capture and minimise the amount of fluid leaked into the surrounding porous rock. In the current study, a novel fully coupled eXtended finite element method (XFEM) hydrofracture model is introduced to capture the effect of fluid loss on the efficiency of the fracturing treatment through the generalised leak-off model. In the proposed generalised leak-off model, the effect of the pressure drop on the hydrofracture faces and the associated decrease in the amount of leaked fluid is considered. The XFEM is then implemented into the COMSOL Multiphysics software package for the first time. The developed framework enables the handling of fractures simulations in complex scenarios particularly when various physics such as rock deformation, fluid flow and heat transfer are involved.

Keywords: COMSOL Multiphysics, XFEM, hydraulic fracturing, fractures, porous media

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