Doctoral Dissertations


Chao Zeng

Keywords and Phrases

Crystalline rock; Enhanced geothermal systems; Fractal analysis; Fracture asperity; Thermomechanical analysis; Upscaling


"Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) offer great potential for dramatically expanding the use of geothermal energy and become a promising supplement for fossil energy. The EGS is to extract heat by creating a subsurface system to which cold water can be added through injection wells. Injected water is heated by contact with rock and returns to the surface through production well. Fracture provides the primary conduit for fluid flow and heat transfer in natural rock. Fracture is propped by fracture roughness with varying heights which is called asperity. The stability of asperity determines fracture aperture and hence imposes substantial effect on hydraulic conductivity and heat transfer efficiency in EGS.

Firstly, two rough fracture surfaces are characterized by statistical method and fractal analysis. The asperity heights and enclosed aperture heights are described by probability density function before cold water is pumped into fracture. Secondly, when water injection and induced cooling occurs, the thermomechanical analysis of single asperity is studied by establishing an un-symmetric damage mechanics model. The deformation curve of asperity under thermal stress is determined. Thirdly, deformation of fracture with various asperities on it in response to thermal stress is analyzed by a new stratified continuum percolation model. This model incorporates the fracture surface characteristics and preceding deformation curve of asperity. The fracture closure and fracture stiffness can be accurately quantified by this model. In addition, the scaling invariance and multifractal parameters in this process are identified and validated with Monte Carlo simulation"--Abstract, page iii.


Deng, Wen

Committee Member(s)

Zhang, Xiong
Insall, Matt
Bai, Baojun
Eckert, Andreas


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Civil Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2019


xvii, 229 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 216-228).


© 2019 Chao Zeng, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11657

Electronic OCLC #