Geofisica pura e applicata

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 104–114 | Cite as

A relation between hydraulic fracture pressures and tectonic stresses

  • N. Morgenstern


It is shown that hydraulic fracture pressures are related to the stresses in the formation and the strength of the rock composing it. Using the Coulomb-Mohr failure criterion and the principle of effective stress, expressions can be obtained relating these factors. The theory indicates that in areas characterized by thrust faulting, the fractures will be inclined horizontally whereas in areas subject to normal faulting stress conditions, they will be more vertical. The analysis of some field data gives reasonable results.


Stress Condition Field Data Effective Stress Failure Criterion Hydraulic Fracture 
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Copyright information

© Istituto Geofisico Italiano 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Morgenstern
    • 1
  1. 1.Imperial College of Science and TechnologyLondonEngland

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