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Open AccessArticle

Numerical Investigation of a Hydrosplitting Fracture and Weak Plane Interaction Using Discrete Element Modeling

by Shuaiqi Liu 1,2,3, Fengshan Ma 1,2,*, Haijun Zhao 1,2, Jie Guo 1,2, Xueliang Duan 1,2,3 and Qihao Sun 1,2,3
1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Innovation Academy for Earth Science, CAS, Beijing 100029, China
3
College of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020535
Received: 29 December 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2020 / Accepted: 12 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydraulic Dynamic Calculation and Simulation)
Water inrush caused by hydrosplitting is an extremely common disaster in the engineering of underground tunnels. In this study, the propagation of fluid-driven fractures based on an improved discrete element fluid-solid coupling method was modeled. First, the interactions between hydrosplitting fractures (HFs) and preexisting weak planes (WPs) with different angles were simulated considering water pressure in the initial fracture. Second, the influence of the in situ stress ratio and the property of WPs were analyzed, and corresponding critical pressure values of different interactions were calculated. Lastly, the maximum principal stress and maximum shear stress variation inside the pieces were reproduced. The following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Five different types of interaction modes between HFs and natural WPs were obtained, prone to crossing the WPs under inclination of 90°. (2) The initiation pressure value decreased with an increased in situ stress ratio, and the confining stress status had an effect on the internal principal stress. (3) During HFs stretching in WPs with a high elastic modulus, the value of the maximum principal stress was low and rose slowly, and the maximum shear stress value was smaller. Through comprehensive analysis, the diversity of the principal stress curves is fundamentally determined by the interaction mode between HFs and WPs, which are influenced by the variants mentioned in the paper. The analysis provides a better guideline for understanding the failure mechanism of water gushing out of deep buried tunnel construction and cracking seepage of high head tunnels.
Keywords: bonded-particle model (BPM); fluid-mechanical coupling; weak plane; in situ stress ratio; maximum principal stress bonded-particle model (BPM); fluid-mechanical coupling; weak plane; in situ stress ratio; maximum principal stress
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, S.; Ma, F.; Zhao, H.; Guo, J.; Duan, X.; Sun, Q. Numerical Investigation of a Hydrosplitting Fracture and Weak Plane Interaction Using Discrete Element Modeling. Water 2020, 12, 535.

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