Experimental and numerical investigation into hydraulic fracture and natural fracture interaction in shale formations

B. Yildirim, S. Durucan, W. Cao, W. Cai, J. Shi, A. Korre, K. H. Wolf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Two 0.3 m × 0.3 m × 0.3 m shale blocks, one representing a homogeneous sample while the other representing a naturally fractured sample, are modelled using the lattice based DEM code, XSite. The synthetic rock mass approach (SRM), which assigns the smooth joint contacts (SJM) to the weakness planes, is used to represent the natural fractures in shale block-2. Firstly, the developed models are compared with the findings of previously conducted true-triaxial hydraulic fracturing experiments with acoustic measurements, and their subsequent computed tomography (CT) and seismic velocity tomography results. The 3D model results confirmed the curved shape hydraulic fractures, which propagated perpendicular to the minimum stress directions in both shale blocks. Model results also captured the natural fracture (NF) and hydraulic fracture (HF) interaction, particularly the arrest, the dilation of major NFs, followed by crossing with offset mechanism, in shale block-2. Secondly, the parametric studies are carried out to investigate the role of fluid flow rate (q), and fluid viscosity (µ) on different NF/HF interaction mechanisms. The effects of q and µ are discussed based on the total stimulated area including the tensile and shear microcracks, the pipe apertures, and the pressure evolutions within NFs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Subtitle of host publication23-26 June, New York City, New York
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium - New York Marriott, Brooklyn, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201926 Jun 2019


Conference53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Abbreviated titleARMA 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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