Journal of Energy Resources Technology-Transactions of The ASME, Vol.116, No.1, 2-9, 1994
3-DIMENSIONAL HYDRAULIC FRACTURE SIMULATION USING FIXED GRID FINITE-ELEMENT ALGORITHMS
A three-dimensional hydraulic fracture simulator (HYFFIX) is reformulated using finite element methodology and a newly adapted fixed grid. The numerical procedures for the coupled equations governing the fracture width, fluid pressure, and evolution of equilibrium planar crack in layered media are summarized. Fixed grid mesh control algorithms for the efficient tracking of the moving crack/fracture fluid front are detailed. The introduction of these novel algorithms in the simulator makes it numerically efficient and stable, in comparison to previously reported models which utilize migrating mesh techniques. Due to the enhanced numerical efficiency and compactness of the refined code, the model can also be readily implemented on a workstation or microcomputer.