A coupled boundary element and finite element method for the analysis of flow through fractured porous media

Sidong Fang, Linsong Cheng, Luis Ayala H.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we present an efficient coupled method for modeling fluid flow in fractured porous media. The proposed model is developed based on the coupling of the boundary element and finite element methods. The fracture network, treated as planar sinks and sources embedded in the matrix, is solved via the boundary element method and the flow within the fracture networks is unidirectional and it is solved via the finite element method. The proposed methodology is capable of generating both transient flow and steady-state flow responses which are solved in the Laplace domain. With a simple direct discretization of the fractures and boundaries, the proposed coupled model it is shown to accurately capture the flow behavior with high computational efficiency and stability compared to traditional methods. The proposed model is validated against both analytical solutions and a full-scale numerical simulation. Synthetic case studies with different fracture structures are presented to show the robustness, applicability and computational convenience of the proposed coupled approach for fractured porous media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-390
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Volume152
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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finite element method
Porous materials
porous medium
fracture network
Finite element method
boundary element method
transient flow
fluid flow
Boundary element method
Computational efficiency
Flow of fluids
matrix
methodology
modeling
simulation
analysis
Computer simulation
method

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

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abstract = "In this study, we present an efficient coupled method for modeling fluid flow in fractured porous media. The proposed model is developed based on the coupling of the boundary element and finite element methods. The fracture network, treated as planar sinks and sources embedded in the matrix, is solved via the boundary element method and the flow within the fracture networks is unidirectional and it is solved via the finite element method. The proposed methodology is capable of generating both transient flow and steady-state flow responses which are solved in the Laplace domain. With a simple direct discretization of the fractures and boundaries, the proposed coupled model it is shown to accurately capture the flow behavior with high computational efficiency and stability compared to traditional methods. The proposed model is validated against both analytical solutions and a full-scale numerical simulation. Synthetic case studies with different fracture structures are presented to show the robustness, applicability and computational convenience of the proposed coupled approach for fractured porous media.",
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A coupled boundary element and finite element method for the analysis of flow through fractured porous media. / Fang, Sidong; Cheng, Linsong; Ayala H., Luis.

In: Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 152, 01.01.2017, p. 375-390.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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