A potential major advance in simulating hydro-mechanical processes is the use of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) architecture. The inherently parallel platform of the GPU allows fast and high resolution simulations of the underlying physics governing the nucleation, growth, and coalescence of fracture networks and coupled to the highly non-linear behavior of fluid flow through evolving permeable pathways. We have developed a model (that runs entirely on the GPU) that simulates a pore-elastic plastic rheology with hardening, softening, and damage, and coupled to a non-linear diffusion model for fluid pressure propagation and fluid flow. The model demonstrates how fractures develop and evolve in response to far-field stresses and local stress perturbations that arise by crack growth and interaction, and how the evolving network feeds back on the permeability field. The model has direct applications to reservoir simulations, fracking, and enhanced geothermal systems.


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