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- PublicationAccès libreTransient inverse analyses of overcoring data for improved stress estimation(: ARMA, 2022-6-26)Overcoring is a common technique for measuring stresses in mining projects. Knowledge of the in-situ stress state is essential to ensure the stability of underground infrastructures as well as to assess the induced microseismic risk associated with deep mining operations. There are different types of overcoring probes. Some are bonded in the pilot hole with an epoxy resin and allow for 3D stress measurement (e.g. CSIRO-HI), and others are based solely on a mechanical coupling of the probe, but are limited to biaxial stress measurement (e.g. USBM). The need to glue the probe to obtain a 3D measurement limits the applicability of this technique to short boreholes because it is technically difficult to glue probes in deep boreholes. In any case, traditionally the data analysis is done only based on the final deformation obtained after overcoring. In this paper we propose to use the transient deformation response during overcoring to: (1) allow to evaluate the 3D stress field from a single biaxial overcoring measurement, and (2) add a quality control component by reproducing the entire overcoring response. The general principle of our approach is to simulate the transient response of overcoring by numerical elastic simulation. The principle of superposition is used to derive the responses for any set of parameters from a limited number of basic models and thus allows to limit the total number of model runs. Such approach allows for a systematic inversion procedure to be applied for determining the optimal parameter sets that best capture the transient response of the overcoring. This allows the estimation of a 3D stress tensor from biaxial measurements. It also allows to have a quality control on the measurements evaluating the quality of the fit between the model and the data. In this paper, we evaluate the robustness of the proposed approach by performing a systematic sensitivity analysis on the stress estimation from the inversion of transient overcoring data. We demonstrate the advantages of the approach but also its limitations. The preliminary results obtained in this study suggest that the transient overcoring response contains sufficient information for constraining efficiently the 3D stress tensor. The inversion must be performed using multiple starting point, and the mode of the obtained calibrated parameters is in close adequacy with expected values, while some outliers can be present in the calibrated set. Further work is required for confirming these encouraging results by testing of broader range of stress configurations and applying the method to actual field measurements.
- PublicationAccès libreFractal characteristics of fractures in crystalline basement rocks: Insights from depth-dependent correlation analyses to 5 km depth(2022-5-27)
;Afshari Moein, Mohammad Javad ;Evans, Keith F. ; ;Bär, KristianGenter, AlbertThe scaling laws describing the spatial arrangement of fractures along six deep boreholes penetrating the crystalline rocks in the Rhine Graben were derived using a correlation analysis. Five of the wells, two to 5 km depth, were located at the Soultz geothermal site and one well to 5 km depth was located at Basel, some 150 km from Soultz. Five datasets were derived from borehole imaging logs, whilst one stemmed from the analysis of 810 m of continuous core at Soultz. The two differed inasmuch as the core dataset included essentially all fractures, whereas the image log dataset had few fractures narrower than 1–3 mm. The results of the analysis for all image datasets showed that the spatial arrangement of fractures followed fractal behavior at all scales from meters to several hundred meters, the largest scale amenable to assessment, and that the fractal dimensions were confined to the narrow range 0.85–0.9. However, the core dataset showed significant deviation from fractal behavior, the best-fit fractal dimension of 0.8 being somewhat lower than values obtained from imaging logs in neighboring wells. Eliminating fractures with apertures less than 1 mm from the core dataset to improve comparability led to even lower fractal dimension estimates, indicating the discrepancy was not due to imaging log resolution. Analysis of successive depth sections of the core log suggested the discrepancy was due to the presence of a localized zone between 1750 and 2070 m where the fractal organization is disturbed or takes a lower dimension than elsewhere. Aside from this zone, no systematic variation of fractal dimension with depth was observed in any dataset, implying that a single exponent together with intensity adequately describes the arrangement of fractures along the entire length of the boreholes. The results are relevant to the parameterization of DFN models of deep rock masses.
- PublicationAccès libreA systematic methodology to calibrate wellbore failure models, estimate the in-situ stress tensor and evaluate wellbore cross-sectional geometryDeep geothermal boreholes, often drilled to the crystalline basement, suffer from borehole breakouts that compromise borehole stability and/or lead to low drilling performance. These issues increase the cost of deep geothermal projects and lead to irregular cross-sectional geometries that may entangle well completion (e.g., packer isolation for zonal stimulation, cementing, etc.). Thus, the proper knowledge of rock strength, state of stress and their interactions at the closest vicinity of the borehole is key to the success of deep geothermal drilling. Typically, the magnitudes of the vertical and minimum horizontal principal stresses, 𝑆𝑣 and 𝑆ℎ𝑚𝑖𝑛, respectively, can be estimated while 𝑆𝐻𝑚𝑎𝑥 is difficult to constrain. This paper presents a systematic methodology to jointly evaluate the heterogeneous distributions of the stress tensor principal components and orientations, and the rock strength properties (e.g. cohesion, friction). Model parameters are estimated from measurements available during or shortly after drilling, i.e., breakout width, breakout extent/depth of penetration, breakout orientation and drilling induced tensile fractures. Additionally, measurements of estimated parameters or transformations of them can be considered in the calibration in a generic manner (e.g., 𝑆ℎ𝑚𝑖𝑛 interpreted from XLOT). For illustration purposes, the methodology is applied to the extensive borehole data set along the crystalline section of the borehole BS-1, in Basel (Switzerland). The methodology allows us (1) to derive plausible sets of stress and strength parameters reproducing the complex distribution of breakouts along BS-1, and (2) to unveil the paradox of having no borehole breakouts at sections with high density of natural fractures.
- PublicationAccès libreAseismic deformations perturb the stress state and trigger induced seismicity during injection experimentsFluid injections can trigger seismicity even on faults that are not optimally oriented for reactivation, suggesting either sufficiently large fluid pressure or local stress perturbations. Understanding how stress field may be perturbed during fluid injections is crucial in assessing the risk of induced seismicity and the efficiency of deep fluid stimulation projects. Here, we focus on a series of in situ decametric experiments of fluid-induced seismicity, performed at 280 m depth in an underground gallery, while synchronously monitoring the fluid pressure and the activated fractures movements. During the injections, seismicity occurred on existing natural fractures and bedding planes that aremisoriented to slip relative to the background stress state,whichwas determined from the joint inversion of downhole fluid pressure and mechanical displacements measured at the injection.We then compare this background stress with the one estimated from the inversion of earthquake focal mechanisms. We find significant différences in the orientation of the stress tensor components, thus highlighting local perturbations. After discussing the influence of the gallery, the pore pressure variation and the geology, we show that the significant stress perturbations induced by the aseismic deformation (which represents more than 96 per cent of the total deformation) trigger the seismic reactivation of fractures with different orientations.
- PublicationAccès libreEvaluation of the Diametrical Core Deformation and Discing Analyses for In‑Situ Stress Estimation and Application to the 4.9 km Deep Rock Core from the Basel Geothermal Borehole, Switzerland(2021-9-14)
;Ziegler, MartinThe in situ state of rock mass stresses is a key design parameter, e.g., for deep engineered geothermal systems. However, knowledge of the stress state at great depths is sparse mostly because of the lack of possible in situ tests in deep boreholes. Among different options, core-based in situ stress estimation may provide valuable stress information though core-based techniques have not yet become a standard. In this study we focus on the Diametrical Core Deformation Analysis (DCDA) technique using monzogranitic to monzonitic rock drill cores from 4.9 km depth of the Basel-1 borehole in Switzerland. With DCDA the maximum and minimum horizontal stress (SHmax and Shmin) directions, and the horizontal differential stress magnitudes (∆S) can be estimated from rock cores extracted from vertical boreholes. Our study has three goals: first, to assess photogrammetric core scanning to conduct DCDA; second, to compare DCDA results with borehole breakout and stress-induced core discing fracture (CDF) data sets; and third, to investigate the impact of rock elastic anisotropy on ∆S. Our study reveals that photogrammetric scanning can be used to extract reliable core diametrical data and CDF traces. Locally aligned core pieces showed similar SHmax orientations, conform to borehole breakout results. However, the variability of core diametrical differences was large for the Basel-1 core pieces, which leads to a large spread of ∆S. Finally, we demonstrate that core elastic anisotropy must be considered, requiring robust estimates of rock elastic moduli, to receive valuable stress information from DCDA analyses.
- PublicationAccès libreCharacterization, Hydraulic Stimulation, and Fluid Circulation Experiments in the Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergies(: ARMA, 2021-6-18)
;Hertrich, Marian ;Brixel, Bernard ;Broeker, Kai ;Driesner, Thomas ;Gholizadeh, Nima ;Giardini, Domenico ;Jordan, D. ;Krietsch, Hannes ;Loew, Simon ;Ma, Xiadong ;Maurer, Hansruedi ;Nejati, M. ;Plenkers, K. ;Rast, M. ;Saar, Martin O. ;Shakas, A. ;van Limborgh, R. ;Villiger, Linus ;Wenning, Q. C. ;Ciardo, F. ;Kaestli, P. ;Obermann, A. ;Rinaldi, P. ;Wiemer, Stefan ;Zappone, Alba ;Bethmann, Falco ;Christe, Fabien ;Castilla, Raymi ;Dyer, Ben ;Karvounis, Dimitrios ;Meier, Peter ;Serbeto, Francisco ;Amann, Florian ;Gischig, ValentinReservoir stimulation and hydraulic fracturing in oil-and-gas reservoirs has become common practice and the techniques are continuously improved. However, directly applying the same techniques to extract geothermal energy from low permeability crystalline rocks (i.e., Enhanced Geothermal Systems, EGS) continues to present operational challenges. The research community and industry have shown great interest in addressing the unresolved problems using down-scaled in-situ hydraulic stimulation experiments. Focus has been on the 1–10 m field scale, but in comparison to a realistic EGS operations (1000s m) the scale is two orders too small, the depth and associate stress field differ, and the hydraulic conditions are not perfectly representative. To study the processes in-situ and to bridge the scale between in-situ labs and actual EGS projects, the Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergies (BULGG) was built in a tunnel in the Swiss Alps so that hydraulic stimulation experiments could be performed with dense monitoring systems at the 100 m scale. This effort enables process-oriented research and testing of field scale techniques at conditions that are closer to target reservoir depths and scale. This study gives in-sight on the initial geologic, hydraulic, and stress characterization of the BULGG related to on-going stimulation and circulation experiments
- PublicationAccès libreObservation of a Repeated Step-wise Fracture Growth During Hydraulic Fracturing Experiment at the Grimsel Test SiteHydraulic fracturing (HF) experiments were conducted at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS), Switzerland, with the aim to improve our understanding of the seismo-hydro-mechanical processes associated with high-pressure fluid injection in a moderately fractured crystalline rock mass. Observations from one of these HF experiments indicate simultaneous propagation of multiple fractures during continuous fluid injection. The pressure measured in one observation interval show a cyclic response indicating repeated step-wise fracture growth. This is interpreted as a stick-split mechanism propagating fractures in an episodic manner and connecting them to the natural fracture network. In addition, transient partial closure and opening of fractures on the time-scale of seconds to minutes were observed from pressure and deformation monitoring. Our data set provides unprecedented insight in the complexity of hydraulic fracture propagation.
- PublicationAccès libreDepth-Dependent Scaling of Fracture Patterns Inferred from Borehole Images in GPK3 and GPK4 Wells at Soultz-sous-Forêts Geothermal Site(2021-4-19)
;Moein, M. J. A. ;Bär, Kristian ; ;Genter, AlbertSass, IngoEngineering an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) requires a proper understanding of the fracture network properties from small to large scales in order to create a reliable geological model for reservoir simulations. As deterministic identification of all fractures in a reservoir is practically impossible, stochastic approaches known as Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN) are used. This consists of parametrizing a statistical realization of fracture networks constrained by direct observations from borehole images and/or outcrop data, if available. DFN models can be used to study the thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) properties of fractured rocks and to simulate the processes associated within: I) fluid circulation, II) flow and heat production as well as III) seismic response to hydraulic stimulations. Fractal DFNs are based on multiscale fracture network characteristics and are constrained by the scaling properties of fracture network attributes such as length (or size) and spatial distribution. The dual power-law model is a mathematical representation of fractures that parametrize fractal DFNs with two scaling exponents: 1) scaling of spatial distribution using two-point correlation dimension of fracture centers in three dimensions and 2) power-law exponent of fracture length distribution. Direct measurements of fracture length exponents from borehole images or cores are an unresolved challenge and the resolution of geophysical investigations is not sufficient to image the natural fracture networks. In contrast, the spatial distribution of fractures may be precisely characterized using borehole image logs and cores. Currently, the depth-dependence of spatial clustering of fracture patterns in the earth’s crust is not fully understood, although it may be required to anticipate deep reservoir conditions from shallower datasets. Here, we study such a depth dependency by using the two-point correlation dimension of fractures along the boreholes as a reliable estimate of the fractal dimension. We investigate the data stemming from two deep boreholes, GPK3 and GPK4, drilled into the crystalline basement rocks at the Soultz-sous-Forêts geothermal site. Recent analyses unraveled no systematic variation of fractal dimension with depth in any of the boreholes at the one standard deviation level of uncertainty. This conclusion may support the hypothesis of generating fracture network models with only a single correlation dimension using the stereological relationships in reservoirs up to 5 km depth in crystalline basements.
- PublicationAccès librePlay-Fairway Analysis for Deep Geothermal Resources in SwitzerlandSwitzerland initiated an energy transition plan for a massive development of renewable energy sources in response to climate change challenges and the decision to shut down nuclear power plants. Geothermal energy represents one component of this transition, with energy scenarios planning for more than 5% of the Swiss electricity demand produced from geothermal energy by 2050. Geothermal energy potentially provides base-load electricity supply, while also contributing to direct and indirect heat supply for replacing fossil fuels, and thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In response to this initiative, the Swiss Geological Survey (swisstopo) compiles information of the subsurface relevant for deep geothermal energy, including well data, seismic data interpretation of major stratigraphic horizons and faults, heat flux maps, thermal models of the underground, and geothermal potential studies. Access to this database provides opportunities for reviewing the geothermal potential of Switzerland using a quantitative play-fairway approach. In this contribution, we first review the available data sets and propose conceptual classifications of geological and structural settings favorable for deep-seated fluid circulation in Switzerland. We use the available data to determine best-estimate stress models, which are then used to compute slip and dilation tendency on the main faults identified in the database. We also combine all available information to provide quantitative mapping of the fairway score (favorability maps) for geothermal exploration. Model resolution does not yet capture local effects relevant for specific project development, but does identify general trends at the scale of Switzerland. Currently, this approach provides best estimate models for the currently available data, and will be refined and better-resolved with the acquisition and implementation of future data.
- PublicationAccès librePoroelasticity Contributes to Hydraulic-Stimulation Induced Pressure ChangesHigh-pressure fluid injections cause transient pore pressure changes over large distances, which may induce seismicity. The zone of influence for such an injection was studied at high spatial esolutions in six decameter-scaled fluid injection experiments in crystalline rock. Pore pressure time series revealed two distinct responses based on the lag time and magnitude of pressure change, namely, a near- and far-field response. The near-field response is due to pressure diffusion. In the far-field, the fast response time and decay of pressure changes are produced by effective stress changes in the anisotropic stress field. Our xperiments confirm that fracture fluid pressure perturbations around the injection point are not limited to the near field and can extend beyond the pressurized zone.