Successive seismic waves may cause progressive weakening of a fault zone, which has been recognized as the mechanism of earthquake aftershocks. However, it is unclear that how a fault zone slips under each wave cycle and how slip displacement accumulates under continuous wave cycles. This laboratory study provides direct evidences on the slip process of a simulated granular fault zone dynamically induced by an incident wave without the effects of late-arriving and reflected waves. The experimental observations show forward and backward slip paths of the fault zone and partially recovered slip displacement after a wave incidence. The unrecovered slip displacement after each wave cycle can be accumulated until it reaches a critical slip distance for seismic faulting, which may reinterpret delayed triggering in earthquake dynamics. The limited interseismic period restricts fault self-healing in strength. The experimental results also indicate that the dynamically induced frictional slip on the fault zone is associated with a complex frictional system, including seismic wave radiation, frictional slip initiation and normal stress vibration. Different from the dynamically induced frictional slip on the fault zone, the statically induced frictional slip causes a permanent increase of slip displacement along the shear loading direction.
An earthquake mainshock may induce aftershocks by suddenly changing external stresses applied to another fault zone in the near field (Kilb et al., 2000) and by slightly perturbing a fault zone from a critical steady state to stick-slip faulting in the far field (Gomberg and Davis, 1996). The dynamically induced frictional slip on a fault zone has been recognized as the mechanism of earthquake aftershocks (Marsan and Lengliné, 2008; van der Elst and Brodsky, 2010). Although earthquake aftershocks have been extensively studied by many seismological methods, a simplified laboratory fault zone can provide possible interpretation on real faulting and detailed analysis on a friction process (Dieterich, 1979; Nielsen at al., 2010). According to a few laboratory experiments related to the dynamically induced frictional slip on a simulated fault zone (e.g., Uenishi et al., 1999; Johnson et al., 2012), the slip process induced by successive seismic waves exhibits continuous motions. However, it is unclear that fault slip response under each wave cycle and slip displacement accumulation under continuous wave cycles.
In this work, we found that contact between shale and water results in development of micro fractures. Based on results of experiments on Pierre shale, we conclude that appearance of micro fractures begin with saturation of capillaries, ionic and diffusive transport of water into the shale clays and once capillaries are saturated, the cause of micro fracture propagation is the conversion of ionic activity/exchange to excess pressure that did not exist before fracking. Based on these findings, the spread of micro fractures appear to be a time-dependent phenomenon which has not been addressed in the existing macro/micro fracture models.
Shale has often been involved as a hazard in drilling operations. This hazard can be defined as “destabilization” of shale. When contacted with water-based drilling fluids, some shales readily swell and sometimes, cause the wellbore to cave-in, slough, wash-out, close, and pack-off, impeding the drilling by sticking the drill-pipe. However, once drilling reaches the desired depth or length, the casing is set, cemented, and perforated, and then actually we wish to initiate fractures and destabilize the shale formation, using hydraulic fracturing.
Clays constitute a major portion of minerals in shale. These clays contain a large amount of free energy which is the main factor for “slick” water adsorption/absorption. In fact, the reason for using “surfactants” in hydraulic fracturing fluids is to make the penetration of the fluid into the capillaries much easier, thus water meets with less resistance to enter the small capillaries. Also, the result of high capillary suction pressure is due to small Angstrom size capillaries, smaller pores and presence of ions and hydrateable metal atoms. The free energy is thus, related to all the above mentioned and other affects. Capillary pressure, osmotic pressure and other pressures are responsible for creating the micro-fractures in shale, thus, increasing the network of micro-fractures which leads to more gas production.
The objective of this study is to evaluate the pressures of the individual ions which are released by the diffusing “slick” water into shale. These pressures would be added to the above mentioned capillary pressure, osmotic pressure, bacterially-induced pressures, chemically-induced reaction pressure, pressure due to exchangeable ion-transport, pressure due to release of free energy of solvation and eventually to the pore pressure as suggested by Terzaghi’s equation.
It is known from earlier and recent research that mechanical properties of intact rock like uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), Young's modulus (E) and Poisson's ratio (ⱱ) are influenced by shape deviations of test specimens as deviations from the ideal cylinder. That impact can be significant at certain level of inaccuracy of specimen preparing, and it should be objectively evaluated and controlled in testing. The effects of intact specimens side straightness, ends flatness, ends parallelism and perpendicularity to the specimen axis, on UCS, E, and ⱱ, measured in several actual ways during laboratory compression tests, were determined by previous research on 90 homogeneous specimens of limestone. In this paper, we subject these new experimental results to Response Surface Methodology (RSM) to model the mentioned dependence, to identify significant connections of variables and to evaluate the conclusions obtained directly from experimental phase. This study indicates how the responses of the model (outputs) – parameters UCS/E/ ⱱ of limestone rock depend on factors (inputs) – parameters of specimen shape deviations like flatness R, parallelism P and perpendicularity O, assuming modern test machines with spherically seated upper platen. Starting from general RSM model with three factors (R, P, and O), we investigated the multiple linear regression models of specific mechanical property (UCS, E, and ⱱ). Using the NCSS program ("NCSS 2004 and PASS 2005") in several steps, final models with very high coefficients of determination were developed for properties with the most evident effects of specimen shape deviations: nine models for strength UCS and UCS50 (equivalent UCS for specimen with 50 mm diameter), and three models for ⱱ L(Poisson's ratio calculated from axial deformations measured on the entire specimen length). These statistical models with their response surfaces further strengthen and confirm the results and conclusions from the experimental phase. The critical values of R, P, and O are established using an additional statistical analysis to determine the lower and upper engineering limits. These findings set the basis for the new eligibility criteria for specimens of limestone (and similar rock with UCS about 100-150 MPa) in further testing of strength and deformability.
Geomechanical reservoir modeling offers a valuable tool to predict tectonic stresses, in particular the local perturbations in orientation and/or magnitude which occur at lithological boundaries and faults. The paper presents a workflow for building and calibrating such geomechanical models. The numerical simulations are based on the Finite Element method and can range from field-scale models to smaller, highly detailed submodels of specific fault blocks. The approach considers the reservoir-specific characteristics with respect to subsurface geometry (lithostratigraphic boundaries, faults), mechanical properties and ambient stress field. During the subsequent calibration stage calculated stresses are compared to stress data actually observed in borehole data. Poorly constrained input parameters are iteratively modified within reasonable limits until a satisfactory fit between calculated and measured stresses is achieved. This validated model can then be used for stress predictions between wells and in undrilled parts of the reservoir, respectively. The workflow is applied to two case studies - a large gas field in Northern Germany and a CO2 sequestration project in Australia – to test and illustrate its practical value.
Detailed knowledge of the tectonic stress field is crucial for the optimal exploration and use not only of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, but also for deep geothermal reservoirs, carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as well as underground mining and nuclear waste repositories. Any reliable stress prediction is hindered by the observation that the magnitude and orientation of the stress field can vary significantly – not only in time, but also in space. Such spatial stress variations comprise all scales, i.e., from the scale of lithospheric plates down to the grain-scale. On the reservoir- and fault blockscale, the local stress field can be influenced by faults and different mechanical properties of lithologies (Sassi & Faure, 1997). The resulting variations in stress magnitude and/or stress orientation are commonly referred to as stress perturbations and give rise to a unique, reservoir-specific stress pattern (Yale, 2003). Thereby, local stress fields can deviate by up to 90° in orientation and several tenth of Megapascal (MPa) in magnitude from regional trends.
Based on digital image correlation (DIC) method and self-developed code, the global strain field changing and failure properties of rock-like materials with pre-existing double flaws are experimentally studied under uniaxial compression. By theoretical analysis with linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM), the strain approach proves to be practicable to investigate cracking process. Thus, two types of process zone are defined to discuss the specimen’s coalescence evolution at different loading stages. Crack initiation, propagation, and coalescence is a process of zone development and nucleation. DIC strain field results are studied on a meso-level using a strain approach. In the shear coalescence mode, the SPZ (shear process zone) in a bridge area coalesces with each other, while the TPZ (tensile process zone) grows independently. In general, the paper tries to establish the link between microscopic mechanical mechanisms and macroscopic mechanical responses in flawed rock. Further research should be done to study the cracking process and its effect on rock strength in detail by the DIC method.
Natural rock contains discontinuities including pores, fractures, inclusions or other defects. The existence of these discontinuities in the rock can decrease the strength and stiffness of the rock and they are a source of initiation of new discontinuities which may in turn propagate and link with other cracks and further decrease the strength and the stiffness of the rock (Sagong & Bobet, 2002). Lots of theoretical, experimental and numerical researches have been done in studying crack initiation, propagation and coalescence in rocks (Hoek & Bieniawski, 1965; Kranz, 1983; Reyes & Einstein, 1991; Park & Bobet, 2009; Gonçalves & Einstein, 2013). But when it comes to multiple pre-flaws, the issue that how the preexisting flaws affect each other becomes complicated and uncertain. The stress field around the tips of flaw can either enhance the impact of single flaw or weaken it. According to the observations have been done before, it is found that the way and function in which these cracks propagate and coalescence depends on the geometric arrangements (Bobet, 1997; Bobet & Einstein, 1998; Wong & Chau, 2001).
Tunnelling by use of Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is gaining a greater presence as a suitable excavation method. Disc cutter consumption has a strong influence on performance and cost when using TBMs and the influence becomes even more relevant in hard rock. Furthermore, good predictions of TBM performance and cost facilitate the control of risk as well as avoiding delays and budget overruns. Since abrasive wear is the most common process affecting cutter consumption, good laboratory assessments are needed. A new abrasivity test method called Rolling Indentation Abrasion Test was developed. The goal of the new test design and procedure is to reproduce wear behaviour on hard rock tunnel boring in a more realistic way than traditionally used methods by introducing wear by rolling contact on intact rock samples.
High investments are involved in the tunnelling industry, especially in Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) projects. Performance predictions and cost estimations are crucial for planning and risk management of TBM projects. Cutter consumption has a large influence in terms of time and cost, and an even greater effect in case of hard rock projects. Many factors are influencing the amount of cutters consumed in hard rock TBMs. Normal TBM operation results mainly in abrasive wear on the cutters and appropriate methods for abrasivity assessment are needed. Rock abrasiveness cannot be considered as an intrinsic property and the complete tribological system should be considered in addition to the geological properties of the rock.
In the present paper, a new test method for abrasivity assessment in tunnel boring called Rolling Indentation Abrasion Test (RIAT) is presented. The traditionally used test methods for determination of rock abrasiveness uses sliding or impact contact in order to cause wear while the RIAT introduces rolling contact on intact rock samples. The ambition of the new test device is to have a reliable method to evaluate the cutter wear in hard rock tunnel boring by reproducing wear behaviour on rolling disc cutters in a more realistic way. It has been established by many authors that the abrasion of a cutter ring is proportional to its rolling distance (Rostami, 1997; Bruland, 1998). In the present work, the weight loss of a mini-cutter ring is measured subsequent to testing in order to evaluate wear in the rolling process and could hence be related to cutter ring wear. Indentation of the tools in the intact rock sample is considered as an indication of the surface hardness of the rock or the resistance to indentation by rolling.
The in situ block size is a key parameter in the geomechanical characterization of rock masses. It describes the fracturing of the rock mass and thus is a measure for the degradation of the rock mass strength. Several classification systems use the in situ block size. For instance, the Geological Strength Index (GSI) requires the "blockiness" and joint surface condition factor as key input parameters. The "blockiness" has recently been related to the in situ block volume (Cai et al., 2004).
Due to the limited information about the internals of a rock mass, it is not possible to determine the in situ block size directly. Currently, the in situ block size is determined by calculations using oversimplified models, vague estimations or, due to the lack of relevant information, it is neglected.
As remote measurement systems have become available for rock mass characterization, a more comprehensive record of discontinuities can take place. Measurements can be performed on exposed rock outcrops and in particular on tunnel faces and walls, delivering the location, orientation, spacing and persistence of discontinuities at an arbitrary number and locations. An estimation of the in situ block size at the same level of sophistication is still not available.
This paper aims at examining the relationship between visible and measureable information at the rock surface, and the in situ block size. Three-dimensional block model simulations were performed using the block model engine of the distinct element code 3DEC. Initial investigations focussed on the minimally required observation area in order to obtain reliable block size distributions. Based on a representative volume element, a reference distribution of the block area at the observation area for a specific discontinuity system was determined. Subsequently, the size of the observation area was decreased stepwise and each new distribution was compared to the reference distribution. For all analyzed systems, it turned out that the mean block area must be smaller than 1% of the observation area to achieve a reliable block size distribution.
Further simulations focussed on discontinuity systems with three non-persistent sets. The results were compared to the formula proposed by Cai et al. (2004). A transformation factor T was introduced which replaces the persistence terms in Cai et al.’s proposed formula. The factor describes the correlation between block volumes generated by persistent and corresponding non-persistent discontinuity sets. The simulations included the variation of the discontinuity set spacing, persistence, and orientation. The mean and additionally the 25%-, 50%- and 75%-quantiles of the block size distribution were analyzed. Examining all values for the transformation factor the distribution can be described by a power function with a negative exponent. The function depends on the persistence only.
Finally, the results of random simulations were compared to the analytical formula using the transformation factor. The predicted mean and selected quantiles show a good agreement with the simulation results. It gives a comprehensive picture about the block size distribution in discontinuity systems with three non-persistent sets.
The mechanics of crushing and grinding operations in mining and excavation processes has been investigated in a laboratory simulation study. It employs a multi-particle bedded rock target, which is subjected to multiple impacts. The impact set-up consists of a Hopkinson pressure bar and a Piston-holder system. The apparatus, employing a 38 mm diameter pressure bar, was used to apply varying but calibrated dynamic loading force on the rock particles. The energy consumed by the sample during fragmentation was determined by considering the energy carried by the incident wave and the reflected wave. The Pistonholder system is used to hold rock samples and to recycle fragments after each test for particle size analysis, for single as well as multiple impacts. The feed size selected was in the range of 9.5 to 12.7 mm for all rock samples, and the impact velocity was set at 14 m/s. Two strong granitic rocks and a relatively weak limestone were the target rocks. The resulting particle size distribution after each set of impacts, ranging from single to 10 consecutive impacts, were analyzed, and various size distribution functions (i.e. Rosin- Rammler, Swebrec, Grady and Gilvarry functions) were fitted to compare their suitability in predicting the fragment size distribution for each rock type.
Crushers are widely used in the mining industry all over the world. Understanding fragmentation behaviour of rock under crushing process is fundamental to improved productivity and efficiency in mining operations. This is particularly so as all subsequent size reduction processes such as crushing and grinding are far more energy intensive than the initial blasting process employed in breaking of in situ rock. A considerable body of experimental studies exists on the behaviour of rock crushers for specific rock types in order to aid in the design of various types of crushers. However, these studies are mainly site specific, that is, the results are largely empirical, and the fundamentals of fracture process that lead to size reduction have not been dealt with adequately. Most such studies have attempted to link the input parameters, such as feed size and crusher parameters, with output particle size, and global energy expended in the process. However the physical mechanism of crushing process is still not well understood. First of all, the energy consumed by the rock sample is hard to calculate during standard crushing or grinding tests; secondly, multi-particle test is hard to perform in the laboratory due to irregular shape of the subject rock sample. In This paper, describes a laboratory crushing apparatus for multi-particle rock samples, with sufficient control of the energy expended in the process, with a view to relate creation of new fracture surfaces in the size reduction process.
Pittino, G. (Montanuniversitaet Leoben) | Galler, R. (Montanuniversitaet Leoben) | Tichy, R. (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH) | Mikl-Resch, M. (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH) | Ecker, W. (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH) | Antretter, T. (Institute of Mechanics) | Kargl, H. (Sandvik Mining and Construction GmbH) | Gimpel, M. (Sandvik Mining and Construction GmbH)
A computational method based on a continuum-mechanical approach to simulate rock cutting is developed and evaluated. The aim is to obtain the local loading acting at the cutting pick during operation. The explicit FEM is chosen to model the pick-rock interaction. The presented method takes advantage of (i) an advanced material model (ii) a robust contact algorithm and (iii) fast calculations due to parallelization. A damage-plasticity law is chosen and modified with user-subroutines. A user integrated element deletion routine evades critical mesh distortions. Infinite elements at the model boundaries avoid unrealistic deformation wave reflection.
Excavation in mining and tunneling is a costly and complex process. Special equipment such as the roadheader (fig. 1) is employed to cut the rock in the excavation process but high material strengths limit their usability (Tockner 1999). Nowadays a challenge is to extend their field of application to harder and more abrasive rock materials. The forces on the pick (fig. 2) are of great importance and determine wear and especially the efficiency of the machine. Figure 2 shows the principle of cutting and the predominant forces. The variation of pick geometry, cutting depth or attack angle will result in an alteration of these forces and determine the efficiency of the process (Tockner 1999). The mechanisms of rock cutting follow the principle of indentation (Kou et al. 1999). Directly under the indenter a hydrostatic stress state evolves causing the material to fail only due to crushing and fragmentation mechanisms. In the close surroundings large strains emerge and tensile cracks are formed but in a further distance the material behaves elastically.
A procedure is suggested to model rock cutting with the explicit FEM and evaluate the reaction forces on a pick for different cutting parameters and pick geometries. The focus is on the development of the method and its ability to simulate rock cutting (Mikl-Resch 2014). For this purpose the adequate constitutive equations with real material parameters and the adequate discretization are necessary.
Displacement of rock mass around a tunnel opening varies according to the rock mass properties, insitu stress conditions and applied support in the tunnel. Such displacement is also altered by presence of bands of rock mass that differ in properties. This paper focuses on the deformation behavior of rock mass around tunnel openings at four tunnel sections in Kaligandaki headrace tunnel where extensive instrumentation was done. Based on the actually measured tunnel displacement records and actually measured support pressure; back analysis has been done to estimate rock mass properties and insitu stresses. Numerical analysis has been done to analyze and assess the deformation behavior of the rock mass around the tunnel sections.
Instrumentation and monitoring of tunnel convergences have significant importance in evaluation of tunnel stability. One of the key aspects of monitored data is that early convergences can be used in estimation of long term convergence. In addition, these data can also be used in evaluation of rock mass parameters and in-situ stresses around the tunnel. Convergence around a tunnel periphery may vary according to rock mass quality. Presence of bands of different rock mass may hinder the displacement pattern in the tunnel. Particularly, displacement characteristic of tunnel periphery in schistose, foliated and deformed rock mass is altered by presence of bands of comparatively stronger rock mass, e.g., quartz veins or presence of shear seams or faults. Similar observations were also recorded in monitored tunnel sections in Kaligandaki headrace tunnel, located in the Nepal Himalayas. Extensive monitoring was done by installing multiple point borehole extensometers (MPBX) at three different locations of the tunnel periphery at four different tunnel sections. In addition, convergence measurements by tape extensometers and installation of pressure cells to record support pressures were also carried out at each of the tunnel sections. Observations showed that the tunnel convergences varied according to rock mass quality, in-situ stress and effective support pressure.
Rock mass parameters and stresses have significant role in the extent of tunnel deformation, but these parameters are often unknown or difficult to predict. Back analysis based on actual tunnel displacement records and known support pressure is believed to be an important method in such endeavor. This paper performs back analysis to evaluate rock mass parameters and discusses correlation of rock mass behavior with tunnel deformation and applied support. For this purpose, the rock mass parameters are estimated from actual tunnel displacement records, mapped rock mass quality records and laboratory tested data. Then, numerical modelling is conducted to correlate post peak behavior of the rock mass with actual tunnel displacement.