Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
Research article
13 Jul 2011
Research article |  | 13 Jul 2011

Scale dependency of fractional flow dimension in a fractured formation

Y.-C. Chang, H.-D. Yeh, K.-F. Liang, and M.-C. T. Kuo

Abstract. The flow dimensions of fractured media were usually predefined before the determination of the hydraulic parameters from the analysis of field data in the past. However, it would be improper to make assumption about the flow geometry of fractured media before site characterization because the hydraulic structures and flow paths are complex in the fractured media. An appropriate way to investigate the hydrodynamic behavior of a fracture system is to determine the flow dimension and aquifer parameters simultaneously. The objective of this study is to analyze a set of field data obtained from four observation wells during an 11-day hydraulic test at Chingshui geothermal field (CGF) in Taiwan in determining the hydrogeologic properties of the fractured formation. Based on the generalized radial flow (GRF) model and the optimization scheme, simulated annealing, an approach is therefore developed for the data analyses. The GRF model allows the flow dimension to be integer or fractional. We found that the fractional flow dimension of CGF increases near linearly with the distance between the pumping well and observation well, i.e. the flow dimension of CGF exhibits scale-dependent phenomenon. This study provides insights into interpretation of fracture flow at CGF and gives a reference for characterizing the hydrogeologic properties of fractured media.