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Doctoral thesis exploring geomechanical characterization methods

Doctoral thesis exploring geomechanical characterization methods

In his recently published doctoral thesis at the BedrettoLab, Kai Bröker explored geomechanical characterization methods—ranging from mini-frac tests to borehole breakout analysis and hydraulic stimulation experiments—to enhance the understanding of stress measurement in fractured crystalline rock masses. Therewith he shed light on various methods of stress measurements in granitic reservoirs and their implications for hydraulic stimulations. His investigations revealed a complex stress field heterogeneity influenced by natural fractures, fault zones, and tunnel excavation.

Furthermore, his analyses of the hydraulic stimulation experiments suggest hydraulic shearing of pre-existing fractures as a probable reactivation mechanism. The pressure and flow rate datasets and their interpretation will help in the future integration and interpretation of monitoring data for seismicity, strain and pressure as well as in the improvement of numerical models for hydraulic stimulations.

For his doctoral thesis, Kai drew on a wealth of experience that he gained in the BedrettoLab, where he already completed his Master's thesis on “In-situ stress and rock mass characterisation via mini-frac tests at the Bedretto Underground Laboratory”. In addition to his excellent scientific work, Kai has been involved in setting up and developing the BedrettoLab from the very beginning. We, the entire BedrettoLab team congratulate him on his completed doctoral thesis and are happy that he is continuing his work in the BedrettoLab as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics at the Université de Neuchâtel.

For more insights, access here the doctoral thesis of Kai with the titel “From stress field heterogeneity to hydraulic stimulation mechanisms: Insights from a hectometer-scale fractured rock mass”.