Deviation from linear elastic fracture in near-surface hydraulic fracturing experiments with rock

R. Y. Makhnenko, A. P. Bunger, E. Detournay

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents the results of near-surface hydraulic fracturing experiments in a medium-grained gabbro that make use of different specimen sizes in order to observe the influence of rock heterogeneity and/or non-LEFM behavior on fracture propagation. A comparison of the results with laboratory experiments in brittle elastic materials shows that fracture paths in rock usually do not monotonically approach the free surface. Moreover, they exhibit a high degree of non-symmetry, in contrast to experiments in glass or PMMA. An attempt to correlate crack path variation among different sized specimens to a size dependent fracture toughness has been initially inconclusive due to the noise caused by these crack path complexities. Nonetheless, these results provide an initial demonstration of non-LEFM behavior in hydraulic fracturing with implications for ongoing experiments aimed at quantifying the size effect on rock fracture toughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and the 5th US/Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2010Jun 30 2010

Other

Other44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and the 5th US/Canada Rock Mechanics Symposium
CountryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT
Period6/27/106/30/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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