Scaling of fracture systems in geological media

Scaling of fracture systems in geological media Scaling in fracture systems has become an active field of research in the last 25 years motivated by practical applications in hazardous waste disposal, hydrocarbon reservoir management, and earthquake hazard assessment. Relevant publications are therefore spread widely through the literature. Although it is recognized that some fracture systems are best described by scale‐limited laws (lognormal, exponential), it is now recognized that power laws and fractal geometry provide widely applicable descriptive tools for fracture system characterization. A key argument for power law and fractal scaling is the absence of characteristic length scales in the fracture growth process. All power law and fractal characteristics in nature must have upper and lower bounds. This topic has been largely neglected, but recent studies emphasize the importance of layering on all scales in limiting the scaling characteristics of natural fracture systems. The determination of power law exponents and fractal dimensions from observations, although outwardly simple, is problematic, and uncritical use of analysis techniques has resulted in inaccurate and even meaningless exponents. We review these techniques and suggest guidelines for the accurate and objective estimation of exponents and fractal dimensions. Syntheses of length, displacement, aperture power law exponents, and fractal dimensions are found, after critical appraisal of published studies, to show a wide variation, frequently spanning the theoretically possible range. Extrapolations from one dimension to two and from two dimensions to three are found to be nontrivial, and simple laws must be used with caution. Directions for future research include improved techniques for gathering data sets over great scale ranges and more rigorous application of existing analysis methods. More data are needed on joints and veins to illuminate the differences between different fracture modes. The physical causes of power law scaling and variation in exponents and fractal dimensions are still poorly understood. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reviews of Geophysics Wiley

Scaling of fracture systems in geological media

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/scaling-of-fracture-systems-in-geological-media-JbUX4l51iz
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
8755-1209
eISSN
1944-9208
D.O.I.
10.1029/1999RG000074
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Scaling in fracture systems has become an active field of research in the last 25 years motivated by practical applications in hazardous waste disposal, hydrocarbon reservoir management, and earthquake hazard assessment. Relevant publications are therefore spread widely through the literature. Although it is recognized that some fracture systems are best described by scale‐limited laws (lognormal, exponential), it is now recognized that power laws and fractal geometry provide widely applicable descriptive tools for fracture system characterization. A key argument for power law and fractal scaling is the absence of characteristic length scales in the fracture growth process. All power law and fractal characteristics in nature must have upper and lower bounds. This topic has been largely neglected, but recent studies emphasize the importance of layering on all scales in limiting the scaling characteristics of natural fracture systems. The determination of power law exponents and fractal dimensions from observations, although outwardly simple, is problematic, and uncritical use of analysis techniques has resulted in inaccurate and even meaningless exponents. We review these techniques and suggest guidelines for the accurate and objective estimation of exponents and fractal dimensions. Syntheses of length, displacement, aperture power law exponents, and fractal dimensions are found, after critical appraisal of published studies, to show a wide variation, frequently spanning the theoretically possible range. Extrapolations from one dimension to two and from two dimensions to three are found to be nontrivial, and simple laws must be used with caution. Directions for future research include improved techniques for gathering data sets over great scale ranges and more rigorous application of existing analysis methods. More data are needed on joints and veins to illuminate the differences between different fracture modes. The physical causes of power law scaling and variation in exponents and fractal dimensions are still poorly understood.

Journal

Reviews of GeophysicsWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2001

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off