SimTech Colloquium: Coupled modelling of fracture growth in the context of radioactive waste disposal in brittle rocks (Adriana Paluszny)

April 17, 2024, 4:00 p.m. (CEST)

Time: April 17, 2024, 4:00 p.m. (CEST)
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The presentation will discuss recently published results in the context of radioactive waste disposal in crystalline rocks. Fracture patterns are modelled as a function of mechanical and temperature changes, which are modelled in a coupled manner using a finite element solution of coupled partial differential equations. Fractures are modelled explicitly and results are compared against analytical and numerical data. Mechanical and thermomechanical results are discussed at the scale of a single deposition borehole, multiple deposition boreholes, and at the tunnel scale. Simulations discuss changes that occur during deposition, thermal load, and glaciation. These results are an example of the application of a coupled framework to an engineered case study; the talk will discuss many learnings being translated to porous media and other geological media studies. Future work will also be discussed. 

Adriana Paluszny is a Reader in Computational Geomechanics and a Royal Society University Research Fellow at Imperial College. She conducts research in the development of numerical methods for the multi-physical simulation of subsurface systems. Her research focuses on the robust three-dimensional numerical modelling of nucleation, growth, and interaction of multiple discontinuities, with applications to the geomechanical modelling of fluid injection, the permeability of fractured rock masses, and emerging methods in computational mechanics. Adriana is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, and a Member of the Poromechanics Committee of the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She was awarded the 2019 Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for JGR: Solid Earth. Dr. Paluszny applies first principles coupled numerical methods to model growing fractured media and permeability changes in the context of geological storage of hydrogen, geothermal energy, as well as carbon storage (CCS), and compressed air energy storage. She is the PI of the SeisGreen project: a large multi-institutional project that seeks to de-risk induced seismicity in the context of large-scale green energy technologies ( She is also a part of the GeoSafe project (NERC) aimed at safe geological disposal of radioactive waste in lower-strength sedimentary rocks. In 2018, she received the international “Chin-Fu Tsang Coupled Processes Award” for young scientists. She is a Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF). Adriana is the lead developer and architect of the Imperial College Geomechanics Toolkit, a robust numerical modelling tool for fracture growth and subsurface processes. Dr. Paluszny also leads the Watson Forum outreach project. A grain of sand to raise awareness of STEM careers, aimed at motivating women to embark in scientific modelling careers. Click here for more.


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