Modeling of fracture deformation and propagation in thermo-poroelastic rock and application to enhanced geothermal systems

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Geosciences/Protection of Land and Water Resources
Inga Berre
University of Berger (NO)
Thursday 7th April 2022
Live: Aula Consiglio, Dip. di Matematica
Link to recording:
In hydraulic stimulation of geothermal systems in igneous rocks, fracture shearing and propagation are key to create sufficient distributed connectivity for commercial power production. The physics is characterized by interaction between fluid flow, thermal transport, thermo-poromechanical deformation, and deforming and growing fractures. The lecture presents recent progress on a mathematical model and numerical solution strategy for the coupled process-structure interaction. Corresponding investigations of hydraulic stimulation of geothermal reservoirs reveals the complex interplay causing frictional slip of fractures, fracture opening and fracture propagation. It is also shown how similar physics can come into play in natural convection processes transporting heat from the deep crust. The model is based on a co-dimension one representation of fractures, leading to a system of mixed-dimensional equations. Darcy flow is considered in both fractures and matrix. The matrix is modelled as thermo-poroelastic and fracture deformation is handled by a contact mechanics combined with a model for fracture propagation.
Inga Berre is professor at the Department of Mathematics and director of the Center for Modeling of Coupled Subsurface Dynamics at the University of Bergen. Her main research interests are mathematical modelling, partial differential equations and numerical methods, motivated by simulation of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in geothermal systems and fault reactivation induced by subsurface injection and production. She is the principal investigator of the ERC Consolidator Grant: "Mathematical and Numerical Modelling of Process-Structure Interaction in Fractured Geothermal Systems" (2021-2026). Inga Berre has served in multiple elected leadership positions, including the SIAM Council (member, 2022-2024), SIAM GS activity group (chair 2021-2022), SET-Plan Deep Geothermal Implementation Working Group (co-chair, 2019-2021), and the Joint Program Geothermal, European Energy Research Alliance (chair, 2018-2021). She is member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.