Fracture Initiation and Propagation in Porous Media: Variational Phase-Field Model

Earth Science and Engineering and Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering


Speaker: Professor Keita Yoshioka, Department of Petroleum Engineering at Montanuniversität Leoben.

Fracturing is a well stimulation technique applied in hydrocarbon and geothermal energy production. While fractures are deliberately created in such geo-energy applications, they are something to avoid or to be controlled in underground energy and CO2 storage or nuclear waste disposal. This shift in the focus prompts us to study not only propagation but also nucleation of fractures. And subsequently we need simulation capabilities for both propagation and nucleation.

In this lecture, I will briefly go over how conventional fracture mechanics fails to address fracture nucleation and introduce a variational phase-field model which has witnessed the explosive popularity within the mechanics community since its inception in the early 2000's. Part of this success is because of its ability to capture complex fracture behaviors, including nucleation and propagation along complex unknown path in 2 and 3 dimensions without the need for ad-hoc criteria and geometric restrictions on crack path. I will then focus on its applications to desiccation fracturing in porous material, mechanical joints in geological formations, and hydraulic fracturing. Finally, I will close my talk with future prospectives and further research topics in this subject.



Dr. Yoshioka received his Bachelor of Science in Resources and Environmental Engineering from Waseda University, Japan in 2003 and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2007.

After his PhD, he has worked for Chevron's technology centre in Houston and conducted internal consulting and corporate researches on various geomechanical problems for more than 10 years including a short term assignment in Chevron's geothermal operation in Indonesia.

In 2017, he joined the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany and worked on an open source code development project, especially focussing on computational fracture mechanics.

From 2022, he has been professor for geo-energy production engineering at the department of Petroleum Engineering at Montanuniversität Leoben.


Professor Keita Yoshioka

Event Quick Information

29 Mar, 2023
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
KAUST, Bldg. 9, Level 2, Lecture Hall 1