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Proceedings 29th NZ Geothermal Workshop 2007

MODELLING SUBSIDENCE IN GEOTHERMAL FIELDS

A. YEH AND M. J. OSULLIVAN

Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

SUMMARY - A three-dimensional subsidence modelling method is described here based on


linking two computer codes: Tough2 and Abaqus. Tough2 is a well-established finite volume
code for simulating complex multi-phase multi-component sub-surface flows. It is widely used
for geothermal reservoir modelling. Abaqus is a general purpose finite element package that
can be used for solving geotechnical problems. It can handle three-dimensional problems for
heterogeneous materials with very general and complex constitutive properties. The pressure drop
data available from the finite volume Tough2 model is converted into a body force distribution
that causes deformation of the soil/rock structure. It is then interpolated on to the finite element
mesh used for the Abaqus rock mechanics calculation, which provides the surface deformation
or subsidence. The conversion process between the two computational grids uses a least squares
finite element method with smoothing to interpolate the pressure data from block centres in the
Tough2 model to element vertices in the Abaqus model. This process allows for the Abaqus
grid to be finer than the Tough2 grid. Results are presented for a simple test problem.

1. INTRODUCTION creasing from the 1950s to a peak in the 1970s,


followed by decrease in rate down to approx-
Land subsidence associated with geothermal imately half the peak rate at present (Allis
development has been observed and studied for 2000). In the most intense subsidence area,
decades in New Zealand. Several modelling the Wairakei subsidence bowl near the Eastern
studies have been carried out to help investi- Borefield, the peak rate was 480 mm/year and
gate the cause and to make future predictions. has now slowed to a rate of 220 mm/year. The
This paper introduces a new method of mod- centre of the subsidence bowl has subsided a
elling geothermal subsidence, and in particu- total of more then 15 m since the 1950s. The
lar for the subsidence at the Wairakei-Tauhara extent of the bowl where the subsidence rate
geothermal field. The method could also easily is abnormally higher than surrounding areas
be applied to other geothermal fields. is generally considered to be approximately 1
km2 . A slower subsidence rate between 5 and
Subsidence is modelled three-dimensionally 100 mm/year has occurred over most of the
here using the Abaqus code, with pressure Wairakei-Tauhara area.
changes directly input from three-dimensional
reservoir flow model based on the Tough2 The pressure of the deep Wairakei reservoir
simulation. has dropped by around 25 bar since the devel-
opment of the field in the 1950s (Allis 2000).
The pressure change information from the Unlike the localised subsidence bowl, the area
Tough2 model is processed and passed into of pressure drawdown is wide-spread and rea-
Abaqus taking account of the difference sonably uniform within the resistivity bound-
between the computational meshes used in ary, which encloses more than 20 km2 in area.
Tough2 and Abaqus. The subsidence (sur- The deep reservoir pressure drawdown has also
face deformation) is then calculated directly by propagated to the Tauhara area.
Abaqus.
1.2 Previous Works
1.1 Subsidence in the Wairakei-
Tauhara Geothermal Field Several techniques related to Geertsmas
one-dimensional compaction and subsi-
The Wairakei and Tauhara geothermal fields dence/compaction relationship were reviewed
are located to the north of Lake Taupo, at the by Herd (1985). When the quantity of pres-
centre of the North Island, New Zealand. sure decline is known or assumed (ie no flow
simulation done), Geertsmas (analytical)
Subsidence was detected soon after the nucleus-of-strain method provides the easiest
geothermal power plant started operation at way to calculate three-dimensional subsidence.
Wairakei in 1950s. The subsidence rates in-

1
However, Geertsmas method approximates field and are not accounted for in the Plaxis
the region of interests as a linear elastic code.
half-space, and this over-simplification and
inflexibility is inappropriate for modelling All of these models give results that agree rea-
the subsidence bowl in complex geothermal sonably well with past subsidence history along
setting, such as Wairakei. the selected points or cross-section lines. How-
ever, the different studies disagree about the
Herd used a finite element method to study cause of the severe subsidence, especially at
two simple models, based on a two-layer the Wairakei subsidence bowl. It is hoped that
two-dimensional cross-section of the Wairakei the three-dimensional model developed in the
geothermal field. These two models were used current research can simulate subsidence more
to investigate whether the cause of the lo- completely over the whole geothermal area,
calised subsidence bowl was lateral variation in making future predictions more reliable.
compressibility or lateral variation in pressure
drawdown. However, no clear conclusion could 1.3 Modelling Software
be made because insufficient data was available
and because of the overly simplified geometry Two software packages are used in a linked
and loading. manner in the current study of subsidence in
geothermal fields:
Allis (Allis and Zhan 2000, Allis 2004, Al-
lis et al. 2001) has studied subsidence at
Wairakei field for more than 15 years. He used Tough2 (Pruess et al. 1999) is a sim-
Geertsmas techniques to try to identify the ge- ulator for flows of multi-component and
ological layer that contributes most to the sub- multi-phase fluids in porous medium. It
sidence bowl at Wairakei. Recently Allis used a has been used widely for geothermal reser-
one-dimensional finite-element model that cou- voir modelling, in fields such as Wairakei-
ples compaction and fluid flow processes in Tauhara (Mannington et al. 2004).
porous materials to simulate the subsidence Abaqus (2003) is a general purpose fi-
bowl at Wairakei. The code was originally de- nite element code that is generally used to
veloped by Lewis et al. (Lewis and Schrefler solve stress-strain problems. It support a
1987, Schrefler and Zhan 1993). It has been large number of material constitutive be-
used extensively on studies of subsidence in- haviour. It can solve one-, two-, or three-
duced by groundwater extraction around the dimensional problems.
northern Italian coast. Allis used it to set up
one-dimensional models to match the levelling
bench marks at Wairakei. Some good fits were Modelling subsidence in other geothermal
obtained. However, the models are limited be- fields where Tough2 is used for reservoir mod-
cause they are only one-dimensional and some elling could also be easily performed using
three-dimensional effects may be important at our linked approach. Ohaaki geothermal field
Wairakei (Terzaghi 2004, p. 15). Another lim- (New Zealand), where subsidence is also occur-
itation of Alliss modelling technique is that it ring, is an example.
allows for only single-phase flow. Thus the flow
in the two-phase zones of Wairakei-Tauhara
2. SOLUTION TECHNIQUE
cannot be represented.

Terzaghi et al. (Lawless et al. 2001, Terzaghi The subsidence modelling approach here is
2004, White et al. 2005) have also devel- uncoupled: the mass and energy transport
oped models of subsidence at Wairakei by us- geothermal model is separate from the solid
ing a finite-element analysis software package, deformation of subsidence model. Pressure
Plaxis, that simulates coupled compaction changes from the Tough2 flow model are
and fluid flow. Several two-dimensional cross- converted into body force that acts on the
sectioned models have been used to calculate soil/rock structure of the Abaqus solid model.
the subsidence at both the Wairakei subsidence Subsidence is then calculated from the defor-
bowl and the more recent Tauhara subsidence mation of the Abaqus model.
bowl. However the Terzaghi models are limited
A previous work by Rutqvist et al. (Rutqvist
because they are two-dimensional rather than
et al. 2002, Rutqvist and Tsang 2003) is car-
three-dimensional. Also they cannot represent
ried out in a similar fashion. A staggered and
two-phase flow. Terzaghi (2004, p. 21) refers
lagged procedures is adapted for solving cou-
to the use of manually adjusted inputs to ac-
pled thermal-hydrologic-mechanical problems,
count for the effect of multiphase flows that are
significant in the case of Wairakei geothermal such as disposal of nuclear waste in unsatu-

2
rated fractured porous media. This is a par- In a fluid saturated porous medium, the com-
tially coupled method because permeabilities ponents of stress satisfy the following equilib-
and porosities are adjusted. This is slightly rium equations:
different from the uncoupled method described
in the present paper. The Tough2 code was xx xy xz
+ + =0
linked with Flac3d, a commercial code that is x y z
designed for rock and soil mechanics. xy yy yz
+ + =0
x y z
2.1 Uncoupled Modelling xz yz zz
+ + + g = 0. (1)
x y z
The assumption of weak coupling between the
stress and flow field leads to the development of Here is density of the fluid saturated bulk
an uncoupled method here. It is reasonable to rock, and g is the acceleration due to gravity.
assume that the long-term regional scale subsi-
dence generally causes slow and small changes Based on the soil mechanics concept of Terza-
in permeability and porosity. The effects of ghi (Biot 1941), the total stress ij is com-
these changes will not play a significant role in posed of the effective stress and the pore pres-

the large scale flow simulation carried out with sure. Effective stress, denoted by ij , is the
Tough2. Hence the information passed from stress which acts on the solid structure of the
the flow model to the solid deformation model rock. The pore pressure P is the fluid pressure
is one-way. within the pores of the rock. Using to repre-
sent the porosity of the rock, the three normal
It is also easier to adapt two computer codes stress components can be rewritten as follows
that are known to perform well in each field (Biot 1956):
rather then finding or developing one computer
code that can simulate a complicated coupled xx = xx P

problem. This is especially true in geother- yy = yy P
mal subsidence modelling, because geothermal
zz = zz P. (2)
reservoir modelling involves very complicated
heat and mass transfer processes, which can- Here the sign of the pressure term is negative,
not be modelled with existing stress-strain- following the normal convention of taking ten-
fluid flow simulators such as Plaxis. sile stress as positive.

Furthermore, the ability to utilise well- Fluid in the pores is considered to have no abil-
established reservoir models is an advantage. ity to sustain shear force. Hence, the total
Tough2 has been used extensively to model shear stresses are equal to the corresponding
geothermal reservoirs. This is especially true effective shear stresses:
for the Wairakei-Tauhara geothermal field.

The University of Auckland Tough2 model xy = xy
for Wairakei-Tauhara (Mannington et al. 2004)
yz = yz
is well-recognised. Future scenarios have been
carried out to predict reservoir state in the fu- xz = xz . (3)
ture. This makes the prediction of the subsi-
dence possible with our technique. Using equations (2) and (3), then (1) can be
rewritten as:
Calibration of two separate models is gen-

erally considered easier then one single cou- (xx P ) xy xz
pled model, especially the causal interaction + + =0
x y z
is stronger one way then the other. The ad-
xy
(yy P ) yz
vantage of using Tough2 reservoir model is + + =0
x y z
apparent here: models like Wairakei-Tauhara
has been constantly improved and are likely to xz yz (zz P )
+ + + g = 0. (4)
be further improved in the future. All improve- x y z
ment made on the Tough2 model will benefit
the solid deformation model. The above equilibrium equations are useful
for scenarios where the fluid pressure changes
2.2 Pressure-Body Force Conversion slowly over time and the short-term transient
effects are small. In this case subsidence is
The conversion of pressure change data from calculated as a sequence of quasi-equilibrium
Tough2 to a body force field that drives the
Abaqus model is described here.

3
problems. Writing the initial fluid pressure as In the present research, (f ) is used as the
P0 , and the final fluid pressure as P1 , their body force in the Abaqus stress-strain anal-
difference can be represented by a function ysis, without the effect of g, which makes a
f (x, y, z): smaller contribution to the overall subsidence.
P1 = P0 + f. (5) The density term g could be added into the
body force in future work.
By expressing two sets of equilibrium equations
(4) using P0 and P1 , and subtracting, the dif- 2.3 Linking Tough2 and Abaqus
ference between initial and final states can be
obtained in the form: Tough2 is used to model the mass and energy
transport, while Abaqus is responsible to solve

xy
xx the solid deformation problem. This project
+ + xz + (f ) = 0
x y z x develops the interface software that connects

xy
yy
yz these two totally different software packages.
+ + + (f ) = 0 Two main processes are involved in this soft-
x y z y
ware: mesh conversion and data conversion

xz yz
zz
+ + + (f ) + g = 0, (from pressure change to body force field).
x y z z
(6) The finite volume method used by Tough2
has field variables, such as pressure and tem-
where is the difference in effective stress.
perature, in each block. (Block is the term se-
Here = 1 0 where 1 and 0 are the final
lected here for Tough2s computational unit,
and initial density of the fluid saturated bulk
in order to distinguish from Abaquss ele-
rock. If the change in density of the rock solid
ment.) The variables are defined at the centres
skeleton (s ) is assumed to be negligible, then
of the blocks that represent the block averaged
change of density can be calculated directly by
quantities.
using the density change of fluid alone, that is:

= f + (1 )s The finite element method used by Abaqus


has the field variables stored at the nodes of
f . (7) elements. Neighbouring elements share field
In a liquid-vapour two phase system, fluid den- variables stored at their common nodes.
sity can be calculated from densities of each
The fact that Tough2s finite volume method
phase:
and Abaquss finite element method are differ-
f = l Sl + v Sv , (8) ent in nature leads to complexity in both mesh
and data conversion.
where l and Sl are density and saturation of
liquid phase; v and Sv are density and satu- Mesh Conversion - In general, it is not neces-
ration of vapour phase. sary to have related meshes for both Tough2
and Abaqus models. It is, however, advan-
These incremental equilibrium equations (6) tageous to have grids which share a common
are very useful. By comparison to the general structure. The Abaqus model could be read-
stress equilibrium equations (1), it is obvious ily updated with improvements made to the
that the only difference is in the introduction of Tough2 mesh if the mesh is directed con-
effective body force terms given by (f )/x, verted. Both the flow model and the subsi-
(f )/y, and (f )/z + g in the x, y, dence model should have a fine grid in areas
z directions, respectively. where pressure changes are large.
Once (6) is solved for the increment in stress, Unlike finite elements, there is virtually no
the the small changes in strain (deformation), rules for creating a finite volume mesh. This
, can be calculated from small changes in makes the direct conversion, direct block to
stress, , which is induced by the applied element where block/element boundaries coin-
body force, by using the simple stress-strain cident, complicated. The Tough2 mesh could
relation (Lewis and Schrefler 1987, p. 99): have blocks with shapes that cannot be used
in Abaquss finite element mesh.
= D (9)

where D, represents the material constants. For example Tough2 allows more than one
For a simple elastic isotropic material, the neighboring blocks to be connected to the sin-
number of independent components of D can gle face of a larger block. This type of mesh
reduce from 21 to 2. However, more complex
material behaviours are also possible.

4
refinement is often used at the interface be- sitions xd , d = 1...D, where D is number of
tween fine and course grid regions, but finite data values. Function P (u) is the discrepancy
elements do not allow this. An automated code between the sampled data and fitted function
was developed to divide such interface blocks which measures the fidelity of the approxima-
into two or more blocks that follow the finite tion.
element rules.
Regularisation could be performed by imposing
Data Conversion - The body force term which additional constraints on the fitting field value.
is applied to the finite element deformation Terzopolous (1986) developed a generalised ap-
model is the spatial derivative (f ). The proximation error function with regularisation
value of total pressure decrease multiplied by on smoothness:
porosity, f , provided at the centre of each
Tough2 block must be approximated by a (u) = S(u) + P (u) (11)
continuous spatial function. Then the gradi-
ent/derivative of this function can be calcu- where S(u) measures the smoothness of the ap-
lated. It is natural to fit the pressure data proximation. This new error function (u) is to
to a finite element mesh that is used directly be minimised by the same way as normal finite
by Abaqus. One of the most common tech- element fitting.
niques serving this purpose is least squares
The smoothness control term S(u) introduced
finite-element fitting.
by Terzopolous is in the form of a generalised
The Abaqus mesh here is generally required controlled-continuity stabiliser :
to be at least the same and often finer then p Z
X
the mesh used by the Tough2 model in or- S(u, p, w) = wm (x)
der to obtain enough subsidence information. m=0 d
This is due to the fact that reservoir models X m!

m u(x)
2
usually have relatively large scale, more then dx. (12)
j1 ! jd ! xj11 xjdd
10 kilometres wide and a few km deep, while j1 +
+jd =m
the subsidence magnitude and region we are
looking at may be small, such as 1 km2 area Using specified values from Young (1990), p =
with maximum of 15 m deformation. This in- 2, w0 = 0, w1 = , w2 = , stabiliser S
troduces the problem of interpolating pressure now controls the smoothness with two positive
data from a coarse Tough2 grid on to a finer smoothing parameters and . Here lim-
Abaqus grid. its the gradients, controls the curvatures of
the value surface on the faces of the elements.
It is well-recognised that insufficient sampled Since our case is three-dimensional, Eqn. (12)
data may cause the least squares finite element becomes:
fitting to break down. Regularisation must be
performed in order to obtain a meaningful so- S(u) =
lution. The finite element data fitting method Z   2  2  2 
with a smoothness constraint was adopted by u u u
+ +
Young (Young 1990, Young et al. 1992), for x1 x2 x3
 2 2  2 2  2 2
fitting coronary data sets to a finite element u u u
mesh of a epicardial surface, and Croucher + 2 + 2 +
x1 x2 x23
(Croucher 1998), for fitting measured water 2 2
2u 2u
  
depths to a finite element mesh for analysis of +2 +2
tidal flows in shallow water. In both of these x1 x2 x1 x3
2 
cases, the technique was used successfully to 2

u
deal with scattered data. This least squares fi- +2 dx1 dx2 dx3
x2 x3
nite element fitting with smoothing is described
(13)
very briefly here.
where the is the model domain.
In a simple least squares finite element fitting,
the residual, denoted by P (u) here, is required The smoothness parameters and are posi-
to be minimised in this problem: tive real numbers that control the gradients of
D
X the approximated values and the curvature of
P (u) = (u(xd ) ud )2 (10) the value surface on faces of the element. As
d=1 and increase, the smoother the solution be-
where u is the scalar field of (f ) that we comes. When and reduce to zero, the algo-
are trying to fit onto our finite element mesh, rithm is identical to the least squares finite ele-
ud , d = 1...D is the sampled data values at po- ment fitting without regularisation/smoothing.

5
Least square finite element fitting with smoothing =0.005
9 single production well is placed at the centre
8
Element nodes
Sampled data points
of the model with a constant production rate.
7
Femfitted node values
The pressure at natural state and final state
6
after production is shown in Fig. 2. There is a
significant pressure drop at the centre.
5

4
Initial (natural) state -- Pressure (bar) 85
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
80
Least square finite element fitting with smoothing =0.05 1000 75
9
70
Element nodes
8
Sampled data points
65
800
Femfitted node values 60
7
55
6 600
50
45
5 40
400 35
4
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 30
Least square finite element fitting with smoothing =0.5 25
9
200 20
Element nodes
8 15
Sampled data points
Femfitted node values 10
7 0 200 400 600 800 1000 5
6
0
Final state -- Pressure (bar) 85
5
80
1000 75
4 70
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
65
800
60

Figure 1 - Comparison of fitted results with 55


50
different smoothing parameters 600
45
40
400 35
30
An example of the smoothing effect is shown in 25
200 20
Figure 1. This is a one-dimensional case, where 15
there is no curvature control term. The param- 10
0
eter is varied to show the effect of smoothing 200 400 600 800 1000 5
0
on the fitted solution. Clearly, as we increases
the size of , the accuracy of the approxima- Figure 2 - Pressure field of the initial state (up-
tion is lost. per) and final state (lower)

It is important to realise that the optimal size The difference between those two states is
of these parameters strongly depends on the represented by the f value. All f values
mesh. The optimal values of and cannot be are then multiplied by , negative porosity,
determined before running actual tests on the which is a constant in this case. The gradi-
problem at hand. The most common method is ents (f )/x and (f )/y are calculated
to carry out a series of numerical experiments by finite difference approximations (convenient
and select the results that adequately repre- for regular mesh like the case here). Body
sents the sampled data field with acceptable force terms in two directions ((f )/x and
smoothness. A more systematic way of opti- (f )/y) were applied as constant values
mising the smoothing parameters is to use the over the area of each element.
well-known method of L-curves (Hansen 1992)
which finds the set of parameters that balances The plane strain option in Abaqus is used.
smoothness and fidelity. The solid mechanics boundary conditions ap-
plied for these test cases are shown in Fig. 3
3. A SIMPLE TWO-DIMENSIONAL Here the simplest material model is used, that
TEST CASE is the linear isotropic elastic option (ABAQUS
Inc. 2003, p. 10.2.1-2). This material is as-
A test case is presented here for modelling sub- signed uniformly to the whole model.
sidence caused by producing fluid at depth.
The reservoir Tough2 model was set up with The solid deformation simulations were carried
100 100 1 blocks. All blocks have the same out at the end of the flow calculation with f
properties, and are identical, 10 m 10 m calculated from the pressure change between
100m thick. Constant atmospheric tempera- the original (t = 0) state and the current state.
ture is assumed for the whole reservoir, hence All solutions shown here are for the final state
the problem is isothermal and single-phase. A

6
yy = xy = 0
4. DISCUSSION
Top

4.1 Calibration
(ux = 0) (ux = 0)

Right
Left
xy = 0 xy = 0
This paper only attempts to illustrate the
method and to show that it can work. More ef-
fort is required to carefully calibrate/validate
y models to match real subsidence data. This
Bottom
6 (ux = uy = 0) could be achieved by improving three different
-x aspects of the model: better pressure matches
in flow model, suitable smoothing parameters
Figure 3 - Boundary conditions applied in for pressure-body force conversion, and calibra-
Abaqus tion of material properties in the solid deforma-
tion model.

Pressure decline is one of the prime factors


after a certain time of production.
that is known to affect greatly the final subsi-
Fig. 4 illustrate the displacement of nodes in dence. It is important to have a well-calibrated
directions y (U2). The contraction within the Tough2 flow model based on good pressure
well withdrawal area (centre) can be clearly ob- information. It is also important to carefully
served. Nodes above the central area show sig- calibrate the pressure, especially the shallow
nificant negative U2 value. The deformation (within 500 metres depth) pressure near areaa
scale factor is 300. of interest, which are generally considered to
be the main compaction zones.
The most important and most direct impact of
subsidence effects is seen in the surface move- The selection of smoothing parameters could
ment. The vectors in Fig. 5 show the direction be achieved by running a series of trial runs,
of movement for each of the nodes (only surface varying parameters, then choosing those that
nodes are shown here). The shape clearly re- capture the fidelity of the pressure decline with
veals the curvature of the expected subsidence sufficient smoothing. This must be checked ev-
bowl. The vectors show both vertical and hor- ery time a different mesh is used, either in the
izontal movement in the subsidence bowl. Tough2 or Abaqus model.

Material properties are also the most impor-


tant parameters. Parameters should be cho-
Simple 2D planestrain from TOUGH2 - symm with bc at side
ODB: t2_2d_4.odb ABAQUS/Standard 6.4-3 Sun May 16 14:04:28 NZST 2004
sen with some knowledge of the geology and
U, U2
measured rock properties. Different material
+0.000e+00
-6.606e-02
-1.321e-01
-1.982e-01
-2.642e-01
types, such as plastic properties should also be
-3.303e-01
-3.963e-01
-4.624e-01
-5.284e-01
considered to allow for more realistic soil/rock
behaviour.
-5.945e-01
-6.606e-01
-7.266e-01
-7.927e-01

4.2 Boundary Conditions

2
Precautions must be taken with the bound-
3 1 ary conditions when the method in this pa-
per is applied. It is important to realise that
Step: Step-31, Loading(by pore pressure decline) TIME STEP = 31 TIME (S) = 0.23239206E+
Increment 1: Step Time = 1.000
Primary Var: U, U2
Deformed Var: U Deformation Scale Factor: +3.000e+02

the body force, converted from the pressure


Figure 4 - Displacement in y direction, simple change, is only the change in effective stress.
regular mesh model It is the difference between the initial and the
end state. If the pressures on the boundaries
change, then the boundary conditions applied
Simple 2D planestrain from TOUGH2 - symm with bc at side
ODB: t2_2d_4.odb ABAQUS/Standard 6.4-3 Sun May 16 14:04:28 NZST 2004
to the solid deformation model should also re-
U, Resultant flect the changes.

An example is modelling a small region


2

3 1
Step: Step-31,
Increment
Loading(by pore pressure decline) TIME STEP =
1: Step Time = 1.000
31 TIME (S) = 0.23239206E+ of uniform pressure decline, within a large
Primary Var: U
Deformed Var: U Deformation Scale Factor: +1.000e+03
model. The pressure change (f ) is a constant
throughout the whole model. Assuming con-
Figure 5 - Surface subsidence, simple regular stant porosity (), the converted body force
mesh model

7
((f )) will be zero. This does not, how- Allis, R., Clotworthy, A., Currie, S. and Zhan,
ever, imply that there is no deformation as a X. (2001). Update of subsidence of Wairakei-
result. Note that the conditions at the bound- Tauhara geothermal system, Proceeding 23rd
aries have changed with a constant pressure NZ Geothermal Workshop 2001, pp. 9197.
drop. This must be reflected by changing the
pressure on the boundaries in the solid de- Allis, R. G. (2000). Review of subsidence
formation model, which will cause change in at Wairakei field, New Zealand, Geothermics
stress and hence a deformation, as intuitively Vol. 29, 455478.
predicted. Allis, R. G. (2004). In the matter of the
Resource Management Act 1991 and in the
5. CONCLUSIONS matter of an application by Contact Energy
Limited for resource consents for the Wairakei
The coupled phenomenon of subsidence in Geothermal Power Plant. New Zealand.
geothermal fields involves mechanisms of both Allis, R. G. and Zhan, X. (2000). Predicting
fluid flow and solid deformation. The weak subsidence at Wairakei and Ohaaki geothermal
coupling between them in the case of long-term fields, New Zealand, Geothermics Vol. 29, 479
large scale subsidence enables the uncoupled 497.
method to produce reasonable solutions.
Biot, M. A. (1941). General theory of three
This paper proposes a method that system- dimensional consolidation, Journal of Applied
atically links Tough2 and Abaqus together, Physics Vol. 12, 155165.
by converting the pressure changes in the fluid
flow model into the body force that deforms Biot, M. A. (1956). General solutions of the
the soil/rock in the solid deformation model. equations of elasticity and consolidation for a
Based on Biots original coupled consolidation porous material, Journal of Applied Mechanics
theory, the body force is obtained by comput- Vol. 23, 9196.
ing the gradients of the total pressure changes
Croucher, A. E. (1998). Modelling contaminant
between the initial and current state. This
transport in rivers and estuaries, Ph.D. Thesis,
body force represents the stress difference be-
University of Auckland, New Zealand.
tween these two states. Then it can be applied
to the solid deformation model with any suit- Hansen, P. C. (1992). Analysis of discrete
able material properties. Both the Tough2 ill-posed problems by means of the L-curve,
fluid flow model and Abaqus solid deforma- Society for Idustrial and Applied Mathematics
tion model can be three-dimensional. Vol. 34(4), 561580.

Calibration of the flow and subsidence mod- Herd, M. A. (1985). Mathematical modelling of
els can be improved in three respects: improv- subsidence above geothermal reservoirs, M.E.
ing the pressure in reservoir model, selecting Thesis, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
smoothing parameters, and calibrating mate-
rial properties in the solid deformation model. Lawless, J. V., Okada, W., Terzaghi, S. and
White, P. J. (2001). New 2-D subsidence mod-
A simple two-dimensional test case is used elling applied to Wairakei-Tauhara, Proceeding
to demonstrate the method here. The subsi- 23rd NZ Geothermal Workshop 2001, pp. 105
dence caused by fluid withdrawal in a Tough2 111.
model is successfully simulated in Abaqus.
Lewis, R. W. and Schrefler, B. A. (1987).
Work is progressing on applying this method to
The Finite-Element Method in the Deforma-
model the subsidence in the Wairakei-Tauhara
tion and Consolidation of Porous Media, Wi-
geothermal fields.
ley, Chichester, England.

Mannington, W. I., OSullivan, M. J., Bul-


6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
livant, D. P. and Clotworthy, A. W. (2004).
Reinjection at Wrairakei-Tauhara: a mod-
Thanks to Contact Energy Ltd., for funding
elling case study, Twenty-Ninth Workshop on
this project under a UniServices/Contact En-
Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford
ergy research contract.
University, Stanford, California.

7. REFERENCES Pruess, K., Oldenburg, C. and Moridis, G.


(1999). TOUGH2 Users Guide Version 2.0,
ABAQUS Inc. (2003). ABAQUS Analysis University of California, Berkeley, California,
Users Manual Version 6.4, ABAQUS Inc., USA.
Pawtucket, RI.

8
Rutqvist, J. and Tsang, C. F. (2003). TOUGH- Limited for the resource consents required for
FLAC: a numerical simulator for analysis activities related to the use of the Wairakei-
of coupled thermo-hydrologic-mechanical pro- Tauhara geothermal system for electricity gen-
cesses in fractured and porous geological media eration purposes. New Zealand.
under multi-phase flow conditions, TOUGH
Symposium 2003, Lawrence Berkeley National Terzopoulos, D. (1986). Regularization of in-
Laboratory, Berkely, California. verse visual problems involving discontinuities,
IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and
Rutqvist, J., Wu, Y. S., Tsang, C. F. and Bod- Machine Intelligence Vol. 8(4), 413424.
varsson, G. (2002). A modeling approach for
analysis of coupled multiphase fluid flow, heat White, P. J., Lawless, J. V., Terzaghi, S. and
transfer, and deformation in fractured rock, In- Okada, W. (2005). Advances in subsidence
ternational Journal of Rock Mechanics & Min- modelling of exploited geothermal fields, Pro-
ing Science Vol. 39, 429442. ceedings World Geothermal Congress 2005.

Schrefler, B. A. and Zhan, X. (1993). A fully Young, A. A. (1990). Epicardial deformation


coupled model for water flow and airflow in de- from coronary cineangiograms, Ph.D. Thesis,
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Young, A. A., Hunter, P. J. and Smaill, B. H.
Terzaghi, S. (2004). In the matter of the Re- (1992). Estimation of epicardial strain us-
source Management Act 1991 and in the mat- ing the motions of coronary bifurcations in bi-
ter of a hearing by Waikato Regional Coun- plane cineangiography, IEEE Transactions on
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in relation to applications by Contact Energy