Abstract

Numerous geological research studies and mining operations have proved that fracture is one of the important factors controlling groundwater flow, mineralization, and ore distribution in metallic deposits. Most current approaches to groundwater flow simulation of naturally fractured media rely on the calculation of equivalent permeability tensors from a discrete fracture network (DFN). This study is aimed at developing a rational two-dimensional DFN by GEOFRAC, a geostatistical method of fracture direction and locations of sample data from a tin mine in the Gaosong area, Gejiu city, southwest China, and utilizing 3,724 outcrop fractures sampled on the ground of mountain Gaosong. Principal inputs of the DFN are density, direction, and continuity of disks that constitute a fracture plane. Fractures simulated by GEOFRAC were validated in that their directions corresponded well with those of the sample fractures. The permeability tensor of each modeling grid was then calculated based on the fracture network constructed. The results showed that GEOFRAC is valuable for two-dimensional DFN modeling in mines and other fracture-controlled geological phenomena, such as groundwater flow and slope failure.

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