E3S Web Conf.
Volume 205, 20202nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics (ICEGT 2020)
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||CO2 Sequestration and Deep Geothermal Energy|
|Published online||18 November 2020|
Diffusivity-dependent fracturing processes and microseismic activity in granite
New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enhanced Geothermal Systems have relied on hydraulic fracturing to increase the permeability of rock reservoirs. The permeability enhancement depends on the connectivity between new and existing fractures. This, in turn, depends to a large extent on the interaction between the rock and the fracturing fluid, which not only pressurizes existing and new fractures but also diffuses into the rock matrix. In this research, the effect of the diffusivity of hydraulic oil on the fracturing processes and microseismicity of unconfined prismatic granite specimens was experimentally evaluated using visual and acoustic emission monitoring. The tests consisted of injecting hydraulic oil into two pre-fabricated flaws at two rates (2 ml/min and 20 ml/min), kept constant in each test. The fluid pressure inside the flaws was increased until hydraulic fractures propagated and the fluid front growing from the pre-fabricated flaws was visually monitored throughout the tests. It was observed that the fracturing pressures and patterns were injection-rate-dependent, which shows that diffusivity and poro-elastic effects play an important role in the hydraulic fracturing processes of granite. A smaller fluid front was observed for the 20 ml/min injection rate, associated to a lower volume injected and to a higher fracturing pressure when compared to the 2 ml/min injection rate. This was interpreted to be caused by the different pore pressures that developed inside of the rock matrix, which are function of the fluid front size. Microseismic activity was observed throughout the tests, becoming more intense and localized near the flaws as one approached the end of the test (i.e. visible crack propagation). While microseismic events were observed outside the fluid front region, their density was significantly larger within this area, showing that fluid diffusivity may contribute to an intensification of the microseismic activity.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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