MPGE Ph.D. student Zhi Ye and Professor Ahmad Ghassemi published their research in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. The manuscript is entitled “Injection-induced Shear Slip and Permeability Enhancement in Granite Fractures.” JGR-Solid Earth is the leading geoscience journal published by American Geophysical Union since 1896. The paper clearly demonstrates permeability increase of faults/fractures by shear reactivation in response to fluid injection. Shear slip has been thought to be a major reservoir stimulation and seismicity mechanism for a long time. However, the fundamentals of shear reactivation and the coupled hydro-mechanical response during fracture shearing under realistic boundary conditions were not well understood prior to these laboratory observations. The paper can be found at:
Since completion of this work, Zhi has continued to push the envelope by designing and implementing a new injection test that for the first time demonstrates the role of mixed-mode fracture propagation in reservoir stimulation under triaxial stress. Comprehensive results and analysis of this seminal work will appear in a forthcoming publication.