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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mathematical modelling of fault reactivation induced by water injection

  • Author(s): Nguyen, TS;
  • Guglielmi, Y;
  • Graupner, B;
  • Rutqvist, J
  • et al.

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Faults in the host rock that might exist in the vicinity of deep geological repositories for radioactive waste, constitute potential enhanced pathways for radionuclide migration. Several processes might trigger pore pressure increases in the faults leading to fault failure and induced seismicity, and increase the faults’ permeability. In this research, we developed a mathematical model to simulate fault activation during an experiment of controlled water injection in a fault at the Mont-Terri Underground Research Laboratory in Switzerland. The effects of in-situ stress, fault shear strength parameters and heterogeneity are assessed. It was shown that the above factors are critical and need to be adequately characterized in order to predict the faults’ hydro-mechanical behaviour.

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