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Modeling Fluid-Driven Fracture — at the Crossroads of Applied Mathematics, Earth Science, and Earth Resources Engineering

6th June 2021   -   11th June 2021
Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada


Fluid-driven crack propagation is the process by which pressurized fluid drives cracks through solid materials. Such a process is not only central to hydraulic fracture stimulation of oil and gas wells, but also it describes movement of molten rock through the Earth’s crust and water through the subsurface of glacial ice sheets. Hence, there is significant, and hitherto relatively untapped, potential for multidisciplinary investigation. Furthermore, the underlying mathematical problem is challenging even for simple propagation geometries and ignoring variability in material properties of the rock and/or ice sheet. When realistic variability and complexity is considered, the problem exceeds the capabilities of current computer simulation tools. To address these concerns, the objective of this workshop is to convene a BIRS Workshop of Applied Mathematicians, Geo-Scientists, and Engineers from Academia and Industry to accelerate the development of the state-of-the-art tools to analyze the evolution of fluid-driven cracks that propagate in complex solid media.