A method for 3-D hydraulic fracturing simulation

S. Secchi, B. A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


We present a method for the simulation of 3-D hydraulic fracturing in fully saturated porous media. The discrete fracture(s) is driven by the fluid pressure. A cohesive fracture model is adopted where the fracture follows the face of the elements around the fracture tip which is closest to the normal direction of the maximum principal stress at the fracture tip. No predetermined fracture path is needed. This requires continuous updating of the mesh around the crack tip to take into account the evolving geometry. The updating of the mesh is obtained by means of an efficient mesh generator based on Delaunay tessellation. The governing equations are written in the framework of porous media mechanics theory and are solved numerically in a fully coupled manner. An examples dealing with a concrete dam is shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Fracture
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • 3D finite element solution
  • Cohesive fracture model
  • Hydraulic fracturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'A method for 3-D hydraulic fracturing simulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this