This paper is concerned with the analysis of a low-viscosity fluid injection into a pre-existing, fingerlike crack within a linear elastic, permeable rock, and of the conditions leading to the onset of the fracture propagation (i.e., the breakdown). The problem is of interest in reservoir waterflooding, supercritical CO2 injection for geological storage, and other subsurface fluid injection applications. Fluid injection into a stationary crack leads to its elastic dilation and pressurization, buffered by the fluid leak-off into the surrounding rock. The solution of the problem, therefore, requires coupling of the crack deformation and the full-space pore-fluid pressure diffusion in the permeable rock. Contrary to the case of propagating hydraulic fractures, when significant part of the energy input is dissipated in the viscous fluid flow in the fracture, we find that the viscous fluid pressure drop inside a stationary fracture can be often neglected (we establish the conditions when one can do so). This, in turn, allows for a semi-analytical solution of the problem using the Green's function method, and, furthermore, for the full analytical treatment of the small/large injection time asymptotics. We apply the transient pressurization solution to predict the onset of the propagation based on the criteria derived from the energy considerations for a fingerlike crack.
Breakdown of a Pressurized Fingerlike Crack in a Permeable Solid
Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received February 27, 2015; final manuscript received March 19, 2015; published online April 30, 2015. Editor: Yonggang Huang.
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Sarvaramini, E., and Garagash, D. I. (June 1, 2015). "Breakdown of a Pressurized Fingerlike Crack in a Permeable Solid." ASME. J. Appl. Mech. June 2015; 82(6): 061006. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4030172
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