21 May, 2020
Congratulations to EGEL group member, Rached Rached who successfully defended his Ph.D thesis Coupled Hydro-Chemo-Mechanical Processes in Fractured Rocks yesterday. Rached is supervised by Professor J. Carlos Santamarina.
His Committee members included Dr. Hussein Hoteit (chair), Dr. Shuyu Sun, Dr. Thomas Finkbeiner, Dr. Jean-Michel Pereira (ENPC, France) and Dr. Santamarina.
Dissertation Abstract- Coupled Hydro-Chemo-Mechanical Processes in Fractured Rocks
Fractured rocks play a crucial role in countless engineered systems that relate to energy recovery, water resources, waste injections, and infrastructure designs. This dissertation investigates coupled physical processes in fractured rocks from the continuum to the pore scale using novel experimental designs and numerical techniques. The research comprises three main topics: 1- large-scale geophysical testing of fractured rocks, 2- coupled hydro-chemo-mechanical processes in fractured rocks at the pore and contact scale, and 3- the development of a novel Finite Element Method wellbore stability numerical tool. The large-scale testing of rocks includes the design and construction of a large-scale true-triaxial loading frame and the study of long-wavelength propagation in three fractured rock fabrics under true-triaxial conditions. The pore-scale investigation of coupled hydro-chemo-mechanical processes consists of contact-scale rock deformation in a reactive flow environment and a pore-scale study of dissolution in real rock microfluidic chips. Finally, this dissertation details the development of a robust, multiphysics, user-friendly finite element method software for wellbore stability analysis. The multiphysics models rely on the fundamental understanding of coupled physical processes in geomaterials.