Lattice Boltzmann simulation of fluid flow in synthetic fractures

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Eker E., Akin S.

TRANSPORT IN POROUS MEDIA, vol.65, no.3, pp.363-384, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11242-005-6085-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.363-384
  • Keywords: Lattice Boltzmann model, fracture permeability, fractal dimension, MATHEMATICAL-MODEL, ROUGH, PERMEABILITY, VALIDITY
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Fractures play an important role in reservoir engineering as they dominate the fluid flow in the reservoir. All evidence suggests that rarely can one model flow and transport in a fractured rock consistently by treating it as a uniform or mildly nonuniform isotropic continuum. Instead, one must generally account for the highly erratic heterogeneity, directional dependence, dual or multicomponent nature and multiscale behavior of fractured rocks. As experimental methods are expensive and time consuming most of the time numerical methods are used to study flow and transport in a fractured rock. In this work, we present results of the numerical computations for single phase flow simulations through two-dimensional synthetically created fracture apertures. These synthetic rock fractures are created using different fractal dimensions, anisotropy factors, and mismatch lengths. Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), which is a new computational approach suitable to simulate fluid flow especially in complex geometries, was then used to determine the permeability for different fractures. Regions of high velocity and low velocity flow were identified. The resulting permeability values were less than the ones obtained with the cubic law estimates. It has been found that as the mean aperture-fractal dimension ratio increased permeability increased. Moreover as the anisotropy factor increased permeability decreased. Neural network simulations were used to generalize the results.