Discrete modeling of the fracture-permeability behavior of shale

W. Li, F. Bousikhane, J. W. Carey, G. Cusatis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional discrete dual lattice model is formulated to investigate the permeability and mechanical behavior of fracture-damaged shale. The mechanical lattice model simulates the granular internal structure of material at the grain level, and describes the heterogeneous deformation by means of discrete compatibility and equilibrium equations. A network of fluid transport elements built upon the mechanical lattice is used to simulate fluid flow along intergranular pores and cracks. The variation of permeability for cracked material is captured by coupling mechanical and transport lattice models. A numerical example of direct shear triaxial test on Utica shale is simulated by the formulated framework. Variation of shale shear strength with the angle between the vertical bedding plane and the shear plane is captured. The permeability of the fractured specimens was obtained by simulating water flowing along the specimens. The numerical results show that the simulated effect of cracking on the overall permeability is in general qualitative agreement with available experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication51st US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2017
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510857582
StatePublished - 2017
Event51st US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2017 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

Publication series

Name51st US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2017


Other51st US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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