Horizontal rough fracture type curves for groundwater movement

Sen Z.

HYDROLOGICAL SCIENCES JOURNAL-JOURNAL DES SCIENCES HYDROLOGIQUES, vol.51, no.6, pp.1125-1138, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Type curves are derived analytically for radial flow in rough horizontal fractures toward a well. The basic assumptions are that there is no turbulent flow near the borehole and the well storage is ignored. The basis of the methodology is to write explicit expressions for the continuity and cubic law flow equations, which are combined using a Boltzmann transformation leading to a simple ordinary differential equation for groundwater movement. Solutions are presented as a set of type curves for different fracture apertures. It is observed that the solutions provide a method of uniquely identifying fracture hydraulic parameters when the fracture is smooth, but pose ambiguity for rough fracture parameter estimations. However, large time portions of these type curves appear as straight lines on semi- logarithmic paper, which provides a unique way for rough fracture parameter determination. Identification of the fracture parameters, namely, the aperture and relative roughness, is possible in a unique manner with the use of these lines and the dimensionless time drawdown concept. The cubic law is the asymptotic behaviour, either for large times or large fracture apertures. Prior to this asymptotic part, there is a non-cubic portion which gives rise to systematic deviations from the cubic law. The technique presented is useful, especially for evaluating pumping tests from a single major fracture isolated by packers.