A Spectral Boundary-Integral Method for Faults and Fractures in a Poroelastic Solid: Simulations of a Rate-and-State Fault With Dilatancy, Compaction, and Fluid Injection

Elías Rafn Heimisson*, Shengduo Liu, Nadia Lapusta, John Rudnicki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fluid-fault interactions result in many two-way coupled processes across a range of length scales, from the micron scale of the shear zone to the kilometer scale of the slip patch. The scale separation and complex coupling render fluid-fault interactions challenging to simulate, yet they are key for our understanding of experimental data and induced seismicity. Here we present spectral boundary-integral solutions for in-plane interface sliding and opening in a poroelastic solid. We solve for fault slip in the presence of rate-and-state frictional properties, inelastic dilatancy, injection, and the coupling of a shear zone and a diffusive poroelastic bulk. The shear localization zone is treated as having a finite width and non-constant pore pressure, albeit with a simplified mathematical representation. The dimension of the 2D plane strain problem is reduced to a 1D problem resulting in increased computational efficiency and incorporation of small-scale shear-zone physics into the boundary conditions. We apply the method to data from a fault injection experiment that has been previously studied with modeling. We explore the influence of bulk poroelastic response, bulk diffusivity in addition to inelastic dilatancy on fault slip during injection. Dilatancy not only alters drastically the stability of fault slip but also the nature of pore pressure evolution on the fault, causing significant deviation from the standard square-root-of-time diffusion. More surprisingly, varying the bulk's poroelastic response (by using different values of the undrained Poisson's ratio) and bulk hydraulic diffusivity can be as critical in determining rupture stability as the inelastic dilatancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JB024185
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume127
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Keywords

  • boundary integral method
  • dilatancy
  • fluid-fault interactions
  • induced seismicity
  • poroelasticity
  • rate-and-state friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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