Measurement of hydraulically ineffective area on a fracture under normal stress condition

Katsumi Nemoto, Hideyuki Oka, Noriaki Watanabe, Nobuo Hirano, Noriyoshi Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We measured the hydraulically ineffective area, which is defined as the aperture area that would not contribute significantly to fluid flow in a fracture, of a single tensile fracture with offset displacement of up to 5 mm under normal stress condition of up to 100 MPa using a granite rock sample. Our objective is to confirm the mechanics of confining pressure and offset displacement dependencies in permeability of a single tensile fracture evaluated by Watanabe et al. (2004). The pressure sensitive sheet approach, which enables simple and direct measurement of the hydraulically ineffective area, is adopted in our experiment. Our results show similar stress dependency to that of the permeability of a fracture, which indicates a close relationship between the hydraulically ineffective area and permeability. On the other hand, the hydraulically ineffective area decreases with increasing offset displacement. Our measurements strongly support the results of the permeability tests reported by Watanabe et al. (2004). The perpendicular distribution in the hydraulically ineffective area with increasing offset displacement suggests that the anisotropy in fracture permeability increases because the permeability could depend on fracture aperture that could be major flow area in a fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions - Geothermal Resources Council
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1
EventGeothermal Resources Council 2005 Annual Meeting - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: 2005 Sept 252005 Sept 28


  • Aperture distribution
  • Direct measurement
  • Fracture
  • Hydraulically ineffective area
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geophysics


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