Technical Committee Earth Sciences
Mineral Vein Dynamics Modelling (FRACS II)
The Mineral Vein Dynamics Modeling group “FRACS” started out as a team of 7 research groups in its first phase and continued with a team of 5 research groups at the Universities of Aachen, Tuebingen, Karlsruhe, Mainz and Glasgow during its second phase “FRACS II”. The aim of the group was to develop an advanced understanding of the interplay between fracturing, fluid flow and fracture healing with a special emphasis on the comparison of field data and numerical models. Field areas comprised the Oman mountains in Oman (which where already studied in detail in the first phase), a siliciclastic se-quence in the Internal Ligurian Units in Italy (closed to Sestri Levante) and cores of Zechstein carbonates from a Lean Gas reservoir in Northern Germany. Numerical models of fracturing, sealing and interaction with fluid that were developed in phase I where expanded in phase II. They were used to model small scale fracture healing by crystal growth and the resulting influence on flow, medium scale fracture heal-ing and its influence on successive fracturing and healing, as well as large scale dynamic fluid flow through opening and closing fractures and channels as a function of fluid overpressure. The numerical models were compared with structures in the field and we were able to identify first proxies for mechanical vein-hostrock properties and fluid overpressures versus tectonic stresses. Finally we propose a new classification of stylolites based on numerical models and observations in the Zechstein cores and continued to develop a new stress inversion tool to use stylolites to estimate depth of their formation.