How Equivalent Are Equivalent Porous Media?

Ahmad Zareidarmiyan, Francesco Parisio, Roman Y. Makhnenko, Hossein Salarirad, Victor Vilarrasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Geoenergy and geoengineering applications usually involve fluid injection into and production from fractured media. Accounting for fractures is important because of the strong poromechanical coupling that ties pore pressure changes and deformation. A possible approach to the problem uses equivalent porous media to reduce the computational cost and model complexity instead of explicitly including fractures in the models. We investigate the validity of this simplification by comparing these two approaches. Simulation results show that pore pressure distribution significantly differs between the two approaches even when both are calibrated to predict identical values at the injection and production wells. Additionally, changes in fracture stability are not well captured with the equivalent porous medium. We conclude that explicitly accounting for fractures in numerical models may be necessary under some circumstances to perform reliable coupled thermohydromechanical simulations, which could be used in conjunction with other tools for induced seismicity forecasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL089163
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 16 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • fractures
  • geoenergies
  • induced seismicity
  • permeability
  • thermal effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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