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Topology and hydraulic permeability estimation of explosively created fractures through regular cylindrical pore network models

Version 2 2024-05-30, 11:37
Version 1 2021-01-06, 12:50
journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-30, 11:37 authored by S Gharehdash, Bre-Anne SainsburyBre-Anne Sainsbury, Milad Barzegar TouchahiMilad Barzegar Touchahi, IB Palymskiy, PA Fomin
Purpose This research study aims to develop regular cylindrical pore network models (RCPNMs) to calculate topology and geometry properties of explosively created fractures along with their resulting hydraulic permeability. The focus of the investigation is to define a method that generates a valid geometric and topologic representation from a computational modelling point of view for explosion-generated fractures in rocks. In particular, extraction of geometries from experimentally validated Eulerian smoothed particle hydrodynamics (ESPH) approach, to avoid restrictions for image-based computational methods. Design/methodology/approach Three-dimensional stabilized ESPH solution is required to model explosively created fracture networks, and the accuracy of developed ESPH is qualitatively and quantitatively examined against experimental observations for both peak detonation pressures and crack density estimations. SPH simulation domain is segmented to void and solid spaces using a graphical user interface, and the void space of blasted rocks is represented by a regular lattice of spherical pores connected by cylindrical throats. Results produced by the RCPNMs are compared to three pore network extraction algorithms. Thereby, once the accuracy of RCPNMs is confirmed, the absolute permeability of fracture networks is calculated. Findings The results obtained with RCPNMs method were compared with three pore network extraction algorithms and computational fluid dynamics method, achieving a more computational efficiency regarding to CPU cost and a better geometry and topology relationship identification, in all the cases studied. Furthermore, a reliable topology data that does not have image-based pore network limitations, and the effect of topological disorder on the computed absolute permeability is minor. However, further research is necessary to improve the interpretation of real pore systems for explosively created fracture networks. Practical implications Although only laboratory cylindrical rock specimens were tested in the computational examples, the developed approaches are applicable for field scale and complex pore network grids with arbitrary shapes. Originality/value It is often desirable to develop an integrated computational method for hydraulic conductivity of explosively created fracture networks which segmentation of fracture networks is not restricted to X-ray images, particularly when topologic and geometric modellings are the crucial parts. This research study provides insight to the reliable computational methods and pore network extraction algorithm selection processes, as well as defining a practical framework for generating reliable topological and geometrical data in a Eulerian SPH setting.



Engineering Computations (Swansea, Wales)











Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal