The link between a heterogeneous model and its flow response: Examples from fault damage zones highlighting issues in domain discretization and flow simulation

Jingsheng Ma, A. Z. Vaszl, G. D. Couples, S. D. Harris

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Natural fault damage zones (FDZs) are characterized by complex geometries and topologies, and by strongly-contrasting material properties. Accurate simulation of fluid flow in such systems is dependent on the method of discretization and the mathematical representation of the flow. In this paper, we focus on the conceptual and methodological issues that link a model of a heterogeneous system and its flow response. We study FDZs as our example, where each thin fault strand is a barrier to flow. We examine two contrasting discretization schemes and apply them to 2D FDZ models that contain a realistic array of linear fault traces. Both schemes produce results that are generally in good agreement, and agree with the results calculated by a more accurate (but computationally less efficient) reference scheme. However, differences occur when the discretization approach fails to maintain the fault connectivity (topology) of the input model. It is important to guide the modelling by identifying any continuous flow pathways in the matrix linking fluid inlets and outlets (Through-Going Regions, TGRs). We illustrate a new scheme that identifies all TGRs and determines a grid that is just fine enough to resolve them. © The Geological Society of London 2007.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStructurally Complex Reservoirs
    Pages337-352
    Number of pages16
    Edition292
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Publication series

    NameGeological Society Special Publication
    Number292
    ISSN (Print)0305-8719

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    Ma, J., Vaszl, A. Z., Couples, G. D., & Harris, S. D. (2007). The link between a heterogeneous model and its flow response: Examples from fault damage zones highlighting issues in domain discretization and flow simulation. In Structurally Complex Reservoirs (292 ed., pp. 337-352). (Geological Society Special Publication; No. 292). https://doi.org/10.1144/SP292.19