Tuesday, April 9, 1:00pm

Dr Suzanne Hunt

Research Associate-NCPGG/ Lecturer-Santos School of Petroleum Engineering and Management, The University of Adelaide

A Fault Parameter Sensitivity Analysis - Using UDEC a Distinct Element Code  


Rock stress can only be measured at local points in space but the determination of the state of stress in large rock masses is affected by heterogeneities, most significantly faults and horizon boundaries. Faults and horizon boundaries can greatly affect the magnitude and orientation of the rock stress components. The effect of heterogeneities on these components has been the subject of many field observation and numerical modelling studies. There exist various numerical techniques to model heterogeneities in a rock mass, such as the finite element method (FEM), coupled FEM and boundary element method (BEM) and finite difference method (FDM). These methods are difficult to apply when there are numerous fractures. The discrete element method is specifically designed to solve fracture problems (UDEC Universal Distinct Element Code, Cundall, 1971). The work presented will show how UDEC has been used to study stress perturbation around a single fault, a bridged stepover fault and a dilational jog fault geometry. A fault parameter sensitivity analysis is performed and the results demonstrate the sensitivity of the predicted stress field to these parameters.

Biography of the Speaker

Suzanne Hunt has a BSc (Hons) in Geophysics from the University of Reading UK, a Masters in Mining Geology and a PhD in Rock Mechanics from Exeter University. Suzanne completed her PhD in 1993 at the UK Geothermal Energy Project. During her PhD she worked on an unconventional method for stress determination in deep boreholes. Since 1993 she has worked in a variety of geophysics based areas including seismic tomography, gravity and magnetics. She spent two years in Antarctica at Mawson station where she manned the global geomagnetic and seismological stations. She then took up a lectureship position at Curtin University where she undertook research into the use of stress modelling as an exploration tool and for underground mining induced stress determination. Suzanne has been a research associate at the NCPGG since 2001 and has recently accepted the position of Lecturer in Rock Engineering at the School of Petroleum Engineering and Management in Adelaide.