Hydro-geomechanical modelling of seal behaviour in overpressured basins using discontinuous deformation analysis

M Rouainia, Margaret Helen Lewis, C Pearce, N Bicanic, Gary Douglas Couples, Mark Andrew Reynolds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    A coupled hydro-geomechanical modelling environment, developed to evaluate the coupled responses of fluid flow in deforming discontinuous media, is described. A staggered computational framework is presented, where the two simulations tools, HYDRO and DDA, communicate via the mapping of an equivalent porosity (and related permeabilities) from the rock system to the fluid phase and an inverse mapping of the pressure field. Several algorithmic and modelling issues are discussed, in particular the computational procedure to map the current geometry of the discontinuous rock blocks assembly into an equivalent porosity (and permeability) field. A generic, geometrically simple, overpressured reservoir/seal system is analysed for illustration. Further examples investigate discontinuous, fractured configurations in flexure causing a degree of spatial variability in the induced stresses. Model predictions show that the combination of hydraulic and mechanical loads causes a dilational opening of some pre-existing fractures and closure of others, with strong localisation of the modified flow pattern along wider fracture openings. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)222-233
    Number of pages12
    JournalEngineering Geology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2006


    • Discontinuous deformation analysis
    • Hydro-geomechanical modelling
    • Overpressured basins
    • Porous media
    • Seal failure


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