Results in Applied Mathematics (Feb 2024)

Flexible and rigorous numerical modelling of multiphysics processes in fractured porous media using PorePy

  • Ivar Stefansson,
  • Jhabriel Varela,
  • Eirik Keilegavlen,
  • Inga Berre

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21
p. 100428


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Multiphysics processes in fractured porous media is a research field of importance for several subsurface applications and has received considerable attention over the last decade. The dynamics are characterized by strong couplings between processes as well as interaction between the processes and the structure of the fractured medium itself. The rich range of behaviour calls for explorative mathematical modelling, such as experimentation with constitutive laws and novel coupling concepts between physical processes. Moreover, efficient simulations of the strong couplings between multiphysics processes and geological structures require the development of tailored numerical methods.We present a modelling framework and its implementation in the open-source simulation toolbox PorePy, which is designed for rapid prototyping of multiphysics processes in fractured porous media. PorePy uses a mixed-dimensional representation of the fracture geometry and generally applies fully implicit couplings between processes. The code design follows the paradigms of modularity and differentiable programming, which together allow for extreme flexibility in experimentation with governing equations with minimal changes to the code base. The code integrity is supported by a multilevel testing framework ensuring the reliability of the code.We present our modelling framework within a context of thermo-poroelasticity in deformable fractured porous media, illustrating the close relation between the governing equations and the source code. We furthermore discuss the design of the testing framework and present simulations showcasing the extendibility of PorePy, as well as the type of results that can be produced by mixed-dimensional simulation tools.