Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Shear and tension hydraulic fractures in low permeability rocks

January 1, 1977

Laboratory hydrofracture experiments were performed on triaxially stressed specimens of oil shale and low-permeability granite. The results show that either shear or tension fractures could develop depending on the level of differentials stress, even in specimens containing preexisting fractures. With 1 kb of confining pressure and differential stress greater than 2kb, hydraulic fluid diffusion into the specimens reduced the effective confining pressure until failure occurred by shear fracture. Below 2kb of differential stress, tension fractures occurred. These results suggest that hydraulic fracturing in regions of significant tectonic stress may produce shear rather than tension fractures. In this case in situ stress determinations based on presumed tension fractures would lead to erroneous results. ?? 1977 Birkha??user Verlag.

Publication Year 1977
Title Shear and tension hydraulic fractures in low permeability rocks
DOI 10.1007/BF01637103
Authors P. Solberg, D. Lockner, J. Byerlee
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pure and Applied Geophysics PAGEOPH
Index ID 70001079
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse