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[en] Simulating the deformation of fractured media requires the coupling of different models for the deformation of fractures and the formation surrounding them. We consider a cell-centered finite-volume approach, termed the multi-point stress approximation (MPSA) method, which is developed in order to discretize coupled flow and mechanical deformation in the subsurface. Within the MPSA framework, we consider fractures as co-dimension one inclusions in the domain, with the fracture surfaces represented as line pairs in 2D (face pairs in 3D) that displace relative to each other. Fracture deformation is coupled to that of the surrounding domain through internal boundary conditions. This approach is natural within the finite-volume framework, where tractions are defined on surfaces of the grid. The MPSA method is capable of modeling deformation, considering open and closed fractures with complex and nonlinear relationships governing the displacements and tractions at the fracture surfaces. We validate our proposed approach using both problems, for which analytical solutions are available, and more complex benchmark problems, including comparison with a finite-element discretization.
[en] In simulation of fluid injection in fractured geothermal reservoirs, the characteristics of the physical processes are severely affected by the local occurence of connected fractures. To resolve these structurally dominated processes, there is a need to develop discretization strategies that also limit computational effort. In this paper, we present an upscaling methodology for geothermal heat transport with fractures represented explicitly in the computational grid. The heat transport is modeled by an advection-conduction equation for the temperature, and solved on a highly irregular coarse grid that preserves the fracture heterogeneity. The upscaling is based on different strategies for the advective term and the conductive term. The coarse scale advective term is constructed from sums of fine scale fluxes, whereas the coarse scale conductive term is constructed based on numerically computed basis functions. The method naturally incorporates the coupling between solution variables in the matrix and in the fractures, respectively, via the discretization. In this way, explicit transfer terms that couple fracture and matrix solution variables are avoided. Numerical results show that the upscaling methodology performs well, in particular for large upscaling ratios, and that it is applicable also to highly complex fracture networks.
[en] Level-set methods are popular for identifying piecewise constant structures. We propose an approach inspired by the level-set idea to identify coarse scale features of a scalar field, where the transitions between different regions can be both sharp and smooth. The nonlinear and coarse reparameterization structure provides regularization on the inverse problem, which is important if the quality of the available information is poor. In our identification strategy, the resolution of the representation of the parameter function is refined gradually; for several inverse problems, the nonlinearity of the problem is correspondingly carefully increased. Hence, when using a gradient-based optimization routine, the approach may reduce the risk of getting trapped in a local minimum of the objective function. We demonstrate the identification strategy for estimation of fluid conductivity in a porous medium based on sparsely distributed, transient data. The methodology is well suited for determining channels and barriers as well as smooth structures based on limited information.