top of page

Effective Fracture Permeability Calculator


Estimation of effective fracture permeability anisotropy

The effective fracture permeability anisotropy in a cell is controlled by the fracture geometry, the intensity of the fractures, and the individual fracture apertures and stress state that make some fractures more conductive than others. This calculator takes all these aspects into account by solving the Oda upscaling equation in one cell. Give it a try with your own data to get a sense of how we would calibrate a complete 3D volume derived from seismic data. You can also use this calculator to calibrate with your own measured perms at the well. For more details on how this concept is used in field scale, seismic constrained fracture modeling, take a look at this publication by Michelena, et al., (2019). 

What this app does


This app is a robust, fast alternative to the time-consuming workflow required to calibrate discrete fracture network (DFN) models with measured permeabilities prior to flow simulation. Typical DFN calibration workflow includes generation of discrete fractures, transmissivity adjustment, critical stress analysis, and permeability upscaling. This calculator combines all these steps without the need to explicitly model the discrete fractures. ​

Here are two examples of how to use of the app explained as part of our fracture modeling class:

1) Effective permeability calibration in a flow simulation grid

2) Well orientation design, fracture permeability and SRV using outcrop data

Input data/parameters:

  • Number of fractures in each orientation (measured from North)

  • Estimated fracture width for each orientation

  • Orientation of maximum horizontal stress Shmax (measured from North)

  • Relative fracture width multipliers for fractures parallel to stress, perpendicular to stress, and critically stressed. If all multipliers are equal to one means that there is no width enhancement due to stress.

  • Measured permeability (if available) for calibration of fracture parameters

  • Matrix permeability

  • Cell area and volume of the cell where calibration is made.          

  • Average fracture height for all fractures within a cell.


Critically stressed fractures occur in the vicinity of 30 degrees; estimations are based on the Oda equation; natural fractures are vertical.


  • Circular variance and Fisher coefficient for the input fracture geometry

  • Orientation of maximum permeability 

  • Maximum modeled permeability (Kmax)

  • Minimum modeled permeability (Kmin)

  • Permeability anisotropy

  • Modeled effective permeability Keff (geometric average of Kmax and Kmin plus matrix perm)

  • Fracture porosity

  • Fracture intensity P32  (area of fractures per unit volume)

  • Sigma (matrix block shape factor)

  • Matrix-fracture contact surface area assuming a cell thickness of 1 m. 

  • Width_eff: Effective fracture hydraulic width estimated from Keff and P32 .

  • Average fracture spacing between fractures assuming a cell size of sqrt(Area)

Orientation of maximum permeability for isotropic and anisotropic fracture apertures

Legend of curves:

Fractures Shmax Kmax  Kmin Keff Modeled K measured Width^3

All curves are normalized by its larger value. Permeabilities are normalized by the maximum of K_measured and Kmax


Not designed to work on mobile devices.

bottom of page