Coupled Hydro-Chemo-Mechanical Processes in Fractured Rocks

  • Rached Rached

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Fractured rocks play a crucial role in countless engineered systems that relate to energy recovery, water resources, waste injections, and infrastructure designs. This dissertation investigates coupled physical processes in fractured rocks from the continuum to the pore scale using novel experimental designs and numerical techniques. The research comprises three main topics: 1- large-scale geophysical testing of fractured rocks, 2- coupled hydro chemo-mechanical processes in fractured rocks at the pore and contact scale, and 3- the development of a novel Finite Element Method wellbore stability numerical tool. The large-scale testing of rocks includes the design and construction of a large-scale true triaxial loading frame and the study of long-wavelength propagation in three fractured rock fabrics under true-triaxial conditions. The pore-scale investigation of coupled hydro chemo-mechanical processes consists of contact-scale rock deformation in a reactive flow environment and a pore-scale study of dissolution in real rock microfluidic chips. Finally, this dissertation details the development of a robust, multiphysics, user-friendly finite element method software for wellbore stability analysis. The multiphysics models rely on the fundamental understanding of coupled physical processes in geomaterials.
Date of AwardMay 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorJ. Carlos Santamarina (Supervisor)

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