UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Seismo-Mechanical Response of Anisotropic Rocks Under Hydraulic Fracture Conditions: New Experimental Insights

Gehne, S; Benson, PM; Koor, N; Dobson, KJ; Enfield, M; Barber, A; (2019) Seismo-Mechanical Response of Anisotropic Rocks Under Hydraulic Fracture Conditions: New Experimental Insights. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth , 124 (9) pp. 9562-9579. 10.1029/2019JB017342. Green open access

[thumbnail of Gehne_hydrofrac_shale_JGR2019.pdf]
Preview
Text
Gehne_hydrofrac_shale_JGR2019.pdf - Published version

Download (2MB) | Preview

Abstract

Unconventional hydrocarbon resources found across the world are driving a renewed interest in mudrock hydraulic fracturing methods. However, given the difficulty in safely measuring the various controlling factors in a natural environment, considerable challenges remain in understanding the fracture process. To investigate, we report a new laboratory study that simulates hydraulic fracturing using a conventional triaxial apparatus. We show that fracture orientation is primarily controlled by external stress conditions and the inherent rock anisotropy and fabric are critical in governing fracture initiation, propagation, and geometry. We use anisotropic Nash Point Shale (NPS) from the early Jurassic with high elastic P wave anisotropy (56%) and mechanical tensile anisotropy (60%), and highly anisotropic (cemented) Crab Orchard Sandstone with P wave/tensile anisotropies of 12% and 14%, respectively. Initiation of tensile fracture requires 36 MPa for NPS at 1-km simulated depth and 32 MPa for Crab Orchard Sandstone, in both cases with cross-bedding favorable orientated. When unfavorably orientated, this increases to 58 MPa for NPS at 800-m simulated depth, far higher as fractures must now traverse cross-bedding. We record a swarm of acoustic emission activity, which exhibits spectral power peaks at 600 and 100 kHz suggesting primary fracture and fluid-rock resonance, respectively. The onset of the acoustic emission data precedes the dynamic instability of the fracture by 0.02 s, which scales to ~20 s for ~100-m size fractures. We conclude that a monitoring system could become not only a forecasting tool but also a means to control the fracking process to prevent avoidable seismic events.

Type: Article
Title: Seismo-Mechanical Response of Anisotropic Rocks Under Hydraulic Fracture Conditions: New Experimental Insights
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2019JB017342
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JB017342
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098139
Downloads since deposit
13Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item