A reduced model for Darcy s problem in networks of fractures


A reduced model for Darcy s problem in networks of fractures
Wednesday 22nd August 2012
Formaggia, L.; Fumagalli, A.; Scotti A.; Ruffo, P
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Subsurface flows are influenced by the presence of faults and large fractures which act as preferential paths or barriers for the flow. In literature models were proposed to handle fractures in a porous medium as objects of codimension 1. In this work we consider the case of a network of intersecting fractures, with the aim of deriving physically consistent and effective interface conditions to impose at the intersection between fractures. This new model accounts for the angle between fractures at the intersections and allows for jumps of pressure across the intersection. This latter property permits to describe more accurately the flow when fractures are characterised by different properties, than other models that impose pressure continuity. The main mathematical properties of the model, derived in the two-dimensional setting, are analysed. As concerns the numerical discretization we allow the grids of the fractures to be independent, thus in general non-matching at the intersection, by means of the extended finite element method (XFEM), to increase the flexibility of the method in the case of complex geometries characterized by a high number of fractures.
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Siam Journal on Numerical Analysis