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TOUGH-UDEC: A simulator for coupled multiphase fluid flows, heat transfers and discontinuous deformations in fractured porous media

Lee, Jaewon, Kim, Kwang-Il, Min, Ki-Bok, Rutqvist, Jonny
Computers & geosciences 2019 v.126 pp. 120-130
carbon dioxide, computers, deformation, environmental engineering, equations, heat transfer, models, permeability, porosity, porous media, temperature, thermal stress
A numerical simulator entitled TOUGH-UDEC is introduced for the analysis of coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical processes in fractured porous media. Two existing well-established codes, TOUGH2 and UDEC, are coupled to model multiphase fluid flows, heat transfers, and discontinuous deformations in fractured porous media by means of discrete fracture representation. TOUGH2 is widely used for the modeling of heat transfers and multiphase multicomponent fluid flows, and UDEC is a well-known distinct element code for rock mechanics. The two codes are solved sequentially, with coupling parameters passed to each equation at specific intervals. After solving thermal-hydraulic equations within the TOUGH2 code, pressure and temperature information is imported into the UDEC model. After solving the mechanical equation within the UDEC code the calculated fracture apertures are converted to the equivalent permeability and porosity values for a TOUGH2 flow analysis. The solution is calculated by iteratively following an explicit sequence for numerical efficiency. Verifications are presented to demonstrate the capabilities of the coupled TOUGH-UDEC simulator. Three application examples of (1) shear dilation due to increased pore pressure, (2) thermal stress and (3) CO2 injection, show that the new simulator can be an effective tool for geoengineering applications involving shear activation of fractures and faults.