The effect of natural fracture heterogeneity on hydraulic fracture performance and seismic response in shale and coal formations

B. Yildirim, W. Cao, S. Durucan, A. Korre, K. H. Wolf, R. Bakker, A. Barnhoorn

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Two 0.3 m × 0.3 m × 0.3 m cubic blocks of shale and coal were used for hydraulic fracturing experiments under true tri-axial stress conditions. The shale block used was highly homogeneous and without visible fractures, while the coal block contained a host of natural fractures. The mechanical and hydraulic properties of both rocks were characterized through multi-stage triaxial tests, Brazilian disk tests, and porosity and permeability measurements. A true tri-axial rock testing machine equipped with loading, pump and acoustic systems was used in the experiment. The acoustic system uses 48 transducers with active sources to repetitively generate and receive ultrasonic P/S wave pulses to reveal fracture initiation and growth. Before the experiment, initial seismic response of both blocks was recorded under hydrostatic stress conditions to characterize anisotropy and heterogeneity of the blocks as reference. Silicon oil was injected centrally into both blocks to create a hydrofracture under deviatoric stress conditions and the load, displacement, pump pressure and volume, and seismic response during the injection process were recorded. Results from two blocks are being compared in terms of hydrofracture geometry and seismic features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium - Seattle, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201820 Jun 2018
Conference number: 52


Conference52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Abbreviated titleAMRA 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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