fracture networks

1. n. [Reservoir Characterization]
Patterns in multiple fractures that intersect with each other. Fractures are formed when rock is stressed or strained, as by the forces associated with plate-tectonic activity. When multiple fractures are propagated, they often form patterns that are referred to as fracture networks. These networks are studied using a number of mathematical and statistical techniques and may even be represented using fractals. Fracture networks may make an important contribution to both the storage (porosity) and the fluid flow rates (permeability or transmissability) of formations.