Multi-Physics Modelling of Fault Mechanics Using REDBACK: A Parallel Open-Source Simulator for Tightly Coupled Problems

TitleMulti-Physics Modelling of Fault Mechanics Using REDBACK: A Parallel Open-Source Simulator for Tightly Coupled Problems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsT Poulet, M Paesold, and M Veveakis
JournalRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Volume50
Issue3
Start Page733
Pagination733 - 749
Date Published03/2017
Abstract

© 2016, Crown Copyright. Faults play a major role in many economically and environmentally important geological systems, ranging from impermeable seals in petroleum reservoirs to fluid pathways in ore-forming hydrothermal systems. Their behavior is therefore widely studied and fault mechanics is particularly focused on the mechanisms explaining their transient evolution. Single faults can change in time from seals to open channels as they become seismically active and various models have recently been presented to explain the driving forces responsible for such transitions. A model of particular interest is the multi-physics oscillator of Alevizos et al. (J Geophys Res Solid Earth 119(6), 4558–4582, 2014) which extends the traditional rate and state friction approach to rate and temperature-dependent ductile rocks, and has been successfully applied to explain spatial features of exposed thrusts as well as temporal evolutions of current subduction zones. In this contribution we implement that model in REDBACK, a parallel open-source multi-physics simulator developed to solve such geological instabilities in three dimensions. The resolution of the underlying system of equations in a tightly coupled manner allows REDBACK to capture appropriately the various theoretical regimes of the system, including the periodic and non-periodic instabilities. REDBACK can then be used to simulate the drastic permeability evolution in time of such systems, where nominally impermeable faults can sporadically become fluid pathways, with permeability increases of several orders of magnitude.

DOI10.1007/s00603-016-0927-y
Short TitleRock Mechanics and Rock Engineering