The continuity of fracture porosity is of fundamental importance for fluid flow in tight formations. Some authors emphasize the role of in situ stress on determining which fractures are conductive and which are not, where the maximum permeability direction in fractured media is expected to align with the maximum compressive stress for opening mode fractures or with the strike orientation of critically stressed faults. Other work has focused on the role of diagenesis that occurs contemporaneous with or after natural fracturing events. Precipitation of cements in a fracture can prop it open, occlude the porosity, or otherwise affect the stress sensitivity of fracture permeability. In this paper, we examine the potential consequences of the interplay between diagenesis and mechanics in the development of a natural fracture network using diagenetic models that incorporate fracture, geomechanical models of fracture population growth that incorporate diagenesis, and extensive observations of fracture populations in core and in outcrop reservoir analogs. We report patterns of fracture growth and decay that are generally applicable to fractured siliciclastic and carbonate rocks.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error