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Abstract

The paper aims at defining the flow models, including equivalent permeability, that are appropriate for multiscale fracture networks. As a prerequisite of the flow analysis, we define the scaling nature of fracture networks that is likely quantified by power-law length distributions whose exponent fixes the contribution of large fractures versus small ones. Despite the absence of any characteristic length scale of the power-law model, the flow structure appears to contain three length scales at the very maximum: the connecting scale, the channelling scale, and the homogenization scale, above which the equivalent permeability tends to a constant value. These scales, including their existence, depend on the fracture length distribution and on the transmissivity distribution per fracture. They are basic in defining the flow properties of fracture networks.

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