A phase-field modeling approach of fracture propagation in poroelastic media

Shuwei Zhou, Xiaoying Zhuang, Timon Rabczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a phase field model for fracture in poroelastic media. The porous medium is modeled based on the classical Biot poroelasticity theory and the fracture behavior is controlled by the phase field model. Moreover, the fracture propagation is driven by the elastic energy where the phase field is used as an interpolation function to transit fluid property from the intact medium to the fully broken one. We use a segregated (staggered) scheme and implement our approach in Comsol Multiphysics. The proposed model is verified by a single-phase solid subjected to tension and a 2D specimen subjected to an increasing internal pressure. We also compare our results with analytical solutions. Finally, we show 2D and 3D examples of internal fluid injection to illustrate the capability of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 5


  • Comsol
  • Hydraulic fractures
  • Phase field
  • Poroelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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