Volume 43, N. 4

October-December 2020

Evaluation of the accuracy of the cubic law for flow through fractures using Lattice Boltzmann method


Volume 43, N. 4, October-December 2020 | PDF (78 downloads)


In this study, a particle-based approach is employed to simulate the fluid flow through single fractures considering detailed geometrical characteristics of the fracture walls at meso-scale. For this purpose, Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) which is an efficient computational fluid dynamic method for simulation of fluid flow in media with grossly irregular geometries is employed. The developed numerical model is validated against some benchmark problems with available theoretical solutions including fluid flow through planar channel with non-parallel walls and non-planar channel with parallel walls. The results indicate the capability of the developed numerical model for simulation of flow through irregular boundary conditions of natural fractures. The effect of the variability of fracture aperture, tortuosity of fracture centerline and roughness of fracture walls on the volumetric flow rate is investigated. Moreover, appropriate definition of hydraulic aperture as the key parameter of the well-known cubic equation for estimation of volumetric flow rate in natural fractures is evaluated by numerical simulation of randomly generated fractures with various geometrical conditions.

Keywords: Cubic law, Fracture, Hydraulic aperture, Lattice Boltzmann method,

Submitted on August 09, 2018.
Final Acceptance on July 29, 2020.
Discussion open until March 31, 2021.
DOI: 10.28927/SR.434521