3D modelling of fractured geological reservoirs

Fractures and faults play an important role in a variety of fields in geoscience as geomechanical, geotechnical and hydrological applications. Fracture characterization, fluid flow and heat transfer analysis are among other the topics where effort is nowadays focusing. To address these aspects and to come up with feasible answers a multivariate approach is required where different branches of geoscience are integrated.

On the one hand, geophysical techniques are usually used to locate and to characterize fractures in terms of their major rock and fluid properties. On the other hand, numerical modeling plays the guiding role in studying and quantifying the behavior of flow and transport in fractures and its interaction with the hosting porous rock matrix. In order to conduct detailed numerical studies of fluid processes in geometrically complex geologic systems flexible, adaptive and quality meshes are a fundamental though often undervalued (pre)requisite.

Only after a detailed geometric model of the fractured system has been obtained it is possible to carry out numerical investigations of processes occurring in it. Indeed, a numerical model may provide quantitative estimates of the system behavior whose level of approximation is controlled by the input geometric model. However, automatic and adaptive mesh approaches for fractured and faulted three dimensional geologic systems still represents a major challenge for the geoscience community.

The object of this project is to develop and provide to the scientific community a novel developed method to correctly represent complex fractured geological reservoirs. The meshing algorithm consists of different computational routines, either existing or “ad hoc” implemented, combined in a software working framework. Based on an input geologic model representing the geometry of the fractured system at hands, the method provides good quality unstructured three dimensional meshes to be used for Finite Element or Finite Volume based numerical applications. 


UmweltForschungsZentrum UFZ Leipzig: Prof. Dr. O. Kolditz and Dr. N. Watanabe

Weierstraß Institut für Angewandte Analysis und Stochastik (WIAS) Berlin: Dr. H. Si and Dr. J. Fuhrmann

Dr Guido Blöcher, Section 6.2


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung - BMBF
Im Rahmen der "Spitzenforschung und Innovation in den neuen Ländern" GeoEnergie Verbundprojekt zwischen Universität Potsdam, BTU Cottbus und Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches Geoforschungszentrum GFZ


Group Leader
Dr. Mauro Cacace
Basin Modelling
Building C 4 , Room 1.08
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1783
Dipl.-Ing. Antoine Jacquey
Basin Modelling
Building C 4 , Room 1.14
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1779