Growth of planar cracks induced by hydraulic fracturing

E. N. Mastrojannis*, L. M. Keer, T. Mura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


A method is proposed for the study of growth, under normal internal pressure, of pre‐existing hydraulically induced planar cracks. The continuous growth process is approximated by a stepwise one, and during each growth step the volume of fluid within the crack cavity is assumed constant. The normal distance through which each point on the crack edge moves outwards is controlled by the level of stress intensity factor KI at each point, and the crack‐resistance characteristics of the material, which can be expressed by some critical level of KI, denoted by KIC. For the present study, that distance was assumed proportional to (KI − KIC)4 for KI > KIC. The evaluation of KI at the crack edge is achieved by utilizing the method discussed by Mastrojannis et al.1 The proposed method was applied to the study of the initial stage of growth of a circular crack under linearly varying normal pressure, and of an elliptical crack under uniform normal pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • General Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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