Numerical estimation of aperture structure and flow wetted field in rock fracture

N. Watanabe, N. Hirano, T. Tamagawa, K. Tezuka, N. Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe a numerical method to estimate aperture structures under confining pressure based on actual fracture surface geometries and permeability of single fractures. In addition, we report flow fields in estimated aperture structures of 100 mm × 150 mm single tensile fractures in granite samples. Fracture surfaces were measured using a CCD laser displacement sensor with 250 μm constant x-y steps. The permeability was also measured under 10-100 MPa confining pressure for each sample. Aperture structures and flow fields were estimated numerically using the actual fractal fracture surface geometries and permeability. Channeling flows were observed at all conditions because of heterogeneous aperture structures. The results suggest that fracture permeability could be overestimated if based on the conventional parallel plate model using an arithmetic mean value of local apertures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions - Geothermal Resources Council
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1
EventGeothermal Resources Council 2005 Annual Meeting - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: 2005 Sep 252005 Sep 28


  • Aperture structure
  • Channeling flow
  • Flow field
  • Numerical estimation
  • Rock fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geophysics


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