Multiple-Point Statistical Simulation of rock fracture network as a key control on the hydrogeology and salinity: a case study from the Qarabagh area, West Azarbayjan Province, Iran

Document Type: Research Paper


Faculty of Mining Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran


     Modeling and characterization of the geometry and distribution of Rock Facture Networks (RFNs) are essential in applications such as hydrogeological or environmental evaluations. It is widely accepted that RFNs are potentially associated with the hydrogeological (thus salinity) characteristics of the surrounding environments. Despite the complexity and inaccessibility of RFNs, stochastic methods provide a functional framework to predict their characteristics in the subsurface. An efficient tool for modeling RFNs is the Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) which also includes a number of geostatistical techniques that consider spatial variability structure. The advantages of these techniques are: realistic results, ease of application, and uncertainty assessments. Multiple-point geostatistics/statistics (MPS) is a modern and effective geostatistical tool for realistically simulating RFNs. In the present study, we modeled the RFNs in a location near the Qarabagh area, in the western Urmia Lake; in this regard, we used the Single Normal Equation Simulation (SNESIM) algorithm of the MPS geostatistical method using Training Images (TIs) instead of variograms. The required datasets and information for this modeling was provided using the field measurements of the fracture orientations and dips, as well as the outcrop photographs. The outcomes of these models can be used in predicting the salinity distribution in the surrounding area . Therefore, through the SNESIM algorithm, TIs obtained from the outcrop photographs, and direct measurements, 100 RFN realizations were generated at each station. These realizations were then averaged to predict the locations with higher and lower fracture probabilities and to assess the general trend of the fracture distributions.