Reactive Flow in a Natural Fracture in Poro-thermoelastic Rock


Chakra Rawal, Ahmad Ghassemi

Key Words:

Reactive Flow; Thermoelasticity; Fracture Aperture; Finite Element Method; Displacement Discontinuity


Stanford Geothermal Workshop







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Poro-thermo-mechanical processes and mineral precipitation/dissolution change the fracture aperture and thus affect the fluid flow pattern in the fracture. In this paper, we study this phenomenon by further development and application of a three-dimensional thermo-poro-mechanical model to include silica dissolution-precipitation effects. The solid mechanics aspect of the problem is treated using poro-thermo-elastic displacement discontinuity method (Ghassemi et al., 2007; Ghassemi and Zhou, 2009), while reactive flow and heat transport in the fracture is solved using finite element method. We focus on single component reactive fluid transport in a fracture (Tang et al., 1981; Steefel and Lichtner, 1998; Wangen and Munz, 2004; Ghassemi and Kumar, 2005). Solute reactivity along the fracture plane is considered using temperature dependent reaction kinetics. We apply the model to simulate the impact of cold water circulation on the dynamics of fracture permeability in enhanced geothermal system.

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