Science Inventory

Feasibility of Hydraulic Fracturing of Soils to Improve Remedial Actions


Murdoch, L., G. Losonsky, P. Cluxton, B. Patterson, T. Klich, AND B. Braswell. Feasibility of Hydraulic Fracturing of Soils to Improve Remedial Actions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/2-91/012 (NTIS PB91181818), 1991.


Hydraulic fracturing, a method of increasing fluid flow within the subsurface, should improve the effectiveness of several remedial techniques, including pump and treat, vapor extraction, bio-remediation, and soil-flushing. he technique is widely used to increase the yields of oil wells, but is untested under conditions typical of contaminated sites. he project consisted, of laboratory experiments, where hydraulic fractures were created in a triaxial pressure cell, and two field tests, where fractures were created at shallow depths in soil. he lab tests showed that hydraulic fractures are readily created in clayey silt, even when it is saturated and loosely-consolidated. any of the lab observations can be explained using parameters and analyses based on linear elastic fracture mechanics. ollowing the field tests, the vicinity of the boreholes was excavated to reveal details of the hydraulic fractures. aximum lengths of the fractures, as measured from the borehold to the leading edge, averaged 4.0 m, and the average area was 19 m2. aximum thickness of sand ranged from 2 to 20 mm, averaging 11 mm. s many as four fractures were created from a single borehold, stacked one over the other at vertical spacing of 15 to 30 cm.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 03/31/1991
Record Last Revised: 08/04/2020
Record ID: 45889