Modeling Fluid-Driven Fracture — at the Crossroads of Applied Mathematics, Earth Science, and Earth Resources Engineering (21w5096)


(University of Pittsburgh)

Egor Dontsov (W.D. VonGonten Laboratories LLC)

Dmitry Garagash (Dalhousie University)

(University of British Columbia)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Modeling Fluid-Driven Fracture — at the Crossroads of Applied Mathematics, Earth Science, and Earth Resources Engineering" workshop in Banff from June 6 to June 11, 2021.

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.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).