A porosity-based model for coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical processes

Jianxin Liu

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    453 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] Rocks, as the host to natural chains of coupled thermal, hydraulic and mechanical processes, are heterogeneous at a variety of length scales, and in their mechanical properties, as well as in the hydraulic and thermal transport properties. Rock heterogeneity affects the ultimate hydro-carbon recovery or geothermal energy production. This heterogeneity has been considered one important and difficult problem that needs to be taken into account for its effect on the coupled processes. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the effect of rock heterogeneity on multi-physical processes. A fully coupled finite element model, hereinafter referred to as a porosity-based model (PBM) was developed to characterise the thermal-hydraulic-mechanical (THM) coupling processes. The development of the PBM consists of a two-staged workflow. First, based on poromechanics, porosity, one of the inherent rock properties, was derived as a variant function of the thermal, hydraulic and mechanical effects. Then, empirical relations or experimental results, correlating porosity with the mechanical, hydraulic and thermal properties, were incorporated as the coupling effects. In the PBM, the bulk volume of the model is assumed to be changeable. The rate of the volumetric strain was derived as the difference of two parts: the first part is the change in volume per unit of volume and per unit of time (this part was traditionally considered the rate of volumetric strain); and the second is the product of the first part and the volumetric strain. The second part makes the PBM a significant advancement of the models reported in the literature. ... impact of the rock heterogeneity on the hydro-mechanical responses because of the requirement of large memory and long central processing unit (CPU) time for the 3D applications. In the 2D PBM applications, as the thermal boundary condition applied to the rock samples containing some fractures, the pore pressure is generat
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


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