Non-random Discrete Fracture Network Modeling

  • Eric B. Niven
  • Clayton V. Deutsch
Part of the Quantitative Geology and Geostatistics book series (QGAG, volume 17)


Discrete fracture networks (DFNs) are commonly created as stochastic models of fractures in a rock mass. Most existing computer codes for creating DFNs generate fracture centroid locations randomly (with a Poisson process) and draw orientation independently of location. The resulting fracture networks do not have realistic spatial properties compared to the natural fracture networks they intend to model. DFNs generated in this manner commonly show fractures that are unrealistically close together and may have many more fracture intersections than are expected. This paper presents a new approach to DFN simulation that results in DFNs that are more geologically realistic in that target spatial statistics such as local fracture spacing, deviation in local fracture orientation and the number of fracture intersections are honored. The proposed algorithm relies on generating more fractures than are required and iteratively adding or removing fractures to find a subset that matches target input fracture network statistics.


Fracture Network Local Fracture Perpendicular Distance Fracture Length Fracture Spacing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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