Natural rock fracture aperture properties through fractals

P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, J. Park, P. Balasingam, R. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Accurate quantification of rock fracture aperture is important in investigating hydro-mechanical properties of rock fractures. Liquefied wood's metal was used successfully to determine the spatial distribution of aperture with normal stress for natural single rock fractures. A modified 3-D box counting method is developed and applied to quantify the spatial variation of rock fracture aperture with normal stress. New functional relations are developed for the following list: (a) Aperture fractal dimension versus effective normal stress; (b) Aperture fractal dimension versus mean aperture; (c) Fluid flow rate per unit hydraulic gradient per unit width versus mean aperture; (d) Fluid flow rate per unit hydraulic gradient per unit width versus aperture fractal dimension. The aperture fractal dimension was found to be a better parameter than mean aperture to correlate to fluid flow rate of natural single rock fractures. A highly refined variogram technique is used to investigate possible existence of aperture anisotropy. It was observed that the scale dependent fractal parameter, Kv, plays a more prominent role than the fractal dimension, Dald, on determining the anisotropy pattern of aperture data. A combined factor that represents both Dald and Kv, Dald × Kv, is suggested to capture the aperture anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Event41st U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium - ARMA's Golden Rocks 2006 - 50 Years of Rock Mechanics - Golden, CO, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2006Jun 21 2006

Other

Other41st U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium - ARMA's Golden Rocks 2006 - 50 Years of Rock Mechanics
CountryUnited States
CityGolden, CO
Period6/17/066/21/06

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

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