Finite element modeling of fluid flow in fractured porous media using unified approach

Hai-Bang Ly, Hoang-Long Nguyen, Minh-Ngoc Do


Understanding fluid flow in fractured porous media is of great importance in the fields of civil engineering in general or in soil science particular. This study is devoted to the development and validation of a numerical tool based on the use of the finite element method. To this aim, the problem of fluid flow in fractured porous media is considered as a problem of coupling free fluid and fluid flow in porous media or coupling of the Stokes and Darcy equations. The strong formulation of the problem is constructed, highlighting the condition at the free surface between the Stokes and Darcy regions, following by the variational formulation and numerical integration using the finite element method. Besides, the analytical solutions of the problem are constructed and compared with the numerical solutions given by the finite element approach. Both local properties and macroscopic responses of the two solutions are in excellent agreement, on condition that the porous media are sufficiently discretized by a certain level of finesse. The developed finite element tool of this study could pave the way to investigate many interesting flow problems in the field of soil science.


finite element method; fractures porous media; transport properties; permeability


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