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Structural analyses and fracture network characterisation: seven pillars of wisdom

Structural analyses and fracture network characterisation: seven pillars of wisdom
Structural analyses and fracture network characterisation: seven pillars of wisdom

Seven distinct types of structural analysis can be defined, each with their own data and uses: (1) basic geological descriptions; (2) geometries and topology; (3) age relationships; (4) kinematics; (5) tectonics; (6) mechanics and (7) fluid flow. We illustrate these types of analysis using the example of faults and fractures, which typically form networks of interacting and connected segments. A framework for describing and characterising fault and fracture networks is presented for each of the structural analysis types. We suggest that any structural study be tailored to suit the desired outcome and that this scheme of analysis types should be used as a basis for the development of workflows, for the design of research projects and for testing hypotheses. For example, prediction of fluid flow through a fracture network must begin with the basic geological description of fracture types. Basic geological descriptions should be followed by measuring their geometries and topologies, understanding their age relationships, kinematic and mechanics, and developing a realistic, data-led model for related fluid flow. Missing steps can lead to fundamentally flawed interpretations.

Fluid flow, Fracture networks, Geometry, Kinematics, Mechanics, structural analysis
0012-8252
13-28
Peacock, D.C.P.
f21efb0d-9039-429a-a3f8-b0543b6652a0
Sanderson, D.J.
5653bc11-b905-4985-8c16-c655b2170ba9
Peacock, D.C.P.
f21efb0d-9039-429a-a3f8-b0543b6652a0
Sanderson, D.J.
5653bc11-b905-4985-8c16-c655b2170ba9

Peacock, D.C.P. and Sanderson, D.J. (2018) Structural analyses and fracture network characterisation: seven pillars of wisdom. Earth-Science Reviews, 13-28. (doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.06.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Seven distinct types of structural analysis can be defined, each with their own data and uses: (1) basic geological descriptions; (2) geometries and topology; (3) age relationships; (4) kinematics; (5) tectonics; (6) mechanics and (7) fluid flow. We illustrate these types of analysis using the example of faults and fractures, which typically form networks of interacting and connected segments. A framework for describing and characterising fault and fracture networks is presented for each of the structural analysis types. We suggest that any structural study be tailored to suit the desired outcome and that this scheme of analysis types should be used as a basis for the development of workflows, for the design of research projects and for testing hypotheses. For example, prediction of fluid flow through a fracture network must begin with the basic geological description of fracture types. Basic geological descriptions should be followed by measuring their geometries and topologies, understanding their age relationships, kinematic and mechanics, and developing a realistic, data-led model for related fluid flow. Missing steps can lead to fundamentally flawed interpretations.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 June 2018
Published date: September 2018
Keywords: Fluid flow, Fracture networks, Geometry, Kinematics, Mechanics, structural analysis

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423358
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423358
ISSN: 0012-8252
PURE UUID: dcd01979-278f-462d-adbc-895a38a11720
ORCID for D.J. Sanderson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2144-3527

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:43

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