The use of the subsurface and the exploitation of subsurface resources require prior knowledge of fluid flow through fracture networks. For nuclear waste disposal, for the enhancement of hydrocarbon recovery from a field, or the development of an enhanced geothermal system (EGS), it is fundamental to constrain the fractures and the fracture network. This study is part of the GEMex project, an international collaboration of two consortia, one from Europe and one from Mexico. The research is based on exploration, characterization and assessment of two geothermal systems located in the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt, Los Humeros and Acoculco. In Acoculco, two wells reached very high temperatures, but did not find any fluids. For that reason, the Acoculco Caldera is foreseen as an EGS development site, hoping to connect existing wells to a productive zone. This implies that the fluid flow through the geothermal reservoir would be mainly fracture dominated. This study investigates the dependency of fracture permeability, constrained by fracture lengths and apertures, with stress field conditions. Simulations are computed in 2D, using COMSOL Multiphysics® Finite Elements Method Software, populated with mechanical data obtained in the rock physics laboratory and with dense discrete fracture networks generated from 1D scanline surveys measured in Las Minas analogue outcrops for Acoculco reservoir. The method offers a prediction for multiple scenarios of the reservoir flow characteristics which could be a major improvement in the development of the EGS technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalGeothermal Energy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • DFM, EGS, FEM, Flow, Fluid, Fracture, GEMex, Stress field

ID: 56694170