Naturally fractured reservoir characterization: Advanced workflows for discrete fracture network modeling

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Natural fractures in subsurface rocks are a source of heterogeneity that impacts flow and transport behaviour. The presence of fracture discontinuities needs to be modelled explicitly due to observed deviations from the continuum assumption of porous media. The departures are due to both individual properties (such as aperture, infill, and roughness) and global network properties (such as topological summary and length distribution). Understanding flow patterns due to effects of rock fractures networks is essential formany applications such as exploiting hydrocarbons, geothermal heat extraction, subsurface nuclear waste storage, and water aquifer development. Assessing the impact of fractures in modelling studies requires fracture network data which is difficult to sample from seismic data (due to image resolution issues) and borehole data (owing to sparse sampling). Outcrop analogue data provide a means to sample networkswhile honouring both spatial position and topological relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Bertotti, G., Supervisor
  • Smeulders, D.M.J., Supervisor
Award date11 Oct 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6384-257-0
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Naturally fractured reservoirs
  • automatic fracture detection
  • graph theory
  • spatial networks
  • spatial network heterogeneity


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