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Continuum, Discontinua and Particle Simulation Codes

GeoSierra personnel have pioneered numerical methods for coupled thermomechanical and hydrogeological modeling of jointed rock masses and in the discrete element method for the fracturing and interaction of sea ice with offshore structures and vessels, such as the codes CICE and DECICE developed in the early 1980's - see Arctic Offshore. Current simulation codes encompass continuum, discontinuum and particle methods in mixed mode formulations for simulating geo-materials, geo-fluids, contaminants, and multi-phase reservoir fluids including supercritical fluids. Particular emphasis has been directed to modeling fracturing of brittle materials with invasive fluids including existing and new fractures, and the propagation of inclusions by non-invasive fluids in ductile materials.

Third generation simulation codes have now been developed, which have significant enhanced capabilities, features and parallel execution for simulating:

  • fracturing of geo-materials acting in the brittle regime, such as brittle rocks and multi-year sea ice, including existing fractures,
  • intrusion propagation in ductile geological formations, such as strong rocks at depth and weakly cemented formations,
  • coupled discrete particle transport of proppant particles and fibers are now handled directly by the codes,
  • coupled thermomechanical and fluids are incorporated into the codes for fully coupled reservoir modeling including fractured and porous media flow, with thermal heating by steam, supercritical carbon dioxide and electrical resistive heating,
  • continuum representation of constitutive behavior can be now replaced by particle simulation, and thus provide a more fundamental understanding of the phenomena and processes involved, to provide better insight and understanding of physical scaled and full scale behavior,
  • the codes include all of the fracturing and deformational characteristics to model the impact of sea ice and icebergs, plus include fluid (water and wind) interaction with the ice and structure, as well as foundation interaction with the seabed for both gravity based and tethered floating structures and ice sour of the seabed. Ice loading induced liquefaction of the seabed can now be modeled directly by the new codes, since these features are integrally coupled in the simulation. Empirical coefficients for added mass of fluids are no longer input, since these interactions are now computed directly in the code as fluid particles impacting the ice and/or structure. In fact, many of the empirical continuum representations of behavior are now modeled on a particle scale, and thus provide a more fundamental understanding of the phenomena and processes involved,
  • most modules are executed in parallel, however, for realistic simulations involving particle modeling massive parallel architecture is recommended. 

The codes are for specialty use in solving complex problems and for phenomenological understanding. The entire suite of codes encompass a wide range of simulation capabilities, so only those modules required are loaded for a particular application, and it is only then, that the codes are intended for general purpose use. In deciding what modules are loaded, a knowledge wizard provides guidance for those users unfamiliar with the code suite.





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