Experimental characterization and dependence of rock fracture permeability on 3D stresses

  • Yu Zhao
  • Chaolin WangEmail author
  • Yanlin Zhao
  • Li He
  • Wen Wan
  • Yongfa Zhang
Original Paper


The effectiveness of transmitting underground fluid in fractured rock mass is significantly influenced by stresses. This paper intends to study the hydraulic behavior of rock fractures under 3D stresses. First, a fracture permeability model has been developed for predicting permeability of rough fractures subjected to 3D stresses on the basis of minimum potential energy principle. Then, a series of transient flow tests are conducted on three fractured shale samples. The test results show that pressure response deviates the exponential behavior at early time, thus the late time data is recommended for permeability calculation. The permeability of fractured rocks are related to 3D stresses, specifically, permeability decreases with the increasing of confining pressure. Variation of curve for fracture deformation versus flow time follows the same trend as the curve for differential pressure versus time (Δp-t), indicating that the pressure decay has a principal dependence on fracture deformation. At last, a comparison between with experimental permeability and the proposed model is tackled, which demonstrates that the proposed model is capable of matching the experimental data for 3D stresses.


Fracture Permeability 3D stresses Pressure pulse test 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers No. 51374257, No. 50804060, No. 51774131, and No.51774132].


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chaolin Wang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yanlin Zhao
    • 3
  • Li He
    • 2
  • Wen Wan
    • 3
  • Yongfa Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringGuizhou UniversityGuiyangChina
  2. 2.School of Civil EngineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.School of Resource, Environment and Safety EngineeringHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina

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