Micromechanical investigation of stress relaxation in gas hydrate-bearing sediments due to sand production

Eitan Cohen, Assaf Klar, Koji Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Past experience of gas production from methane-hydrate-bearing sediments indicates that sand migration is a major factor restricting the production of gas from methane-hydrate reservoirs. One important geotechnical aspect of sand migration is the influence of grain detachment on the existing stresses. This paper focuses on understanding and quantifying the nature of this aspect using different approaches, with a focus on discrete element method (DEM) simulations of sand detachment from hydrate-bearing sand samples. The investigation in the paper reveals that sand migration affects isotropic and deviatoric stresses differently. In addition, the existence of hydrate moderates the magnitude of stress relaxation. Both of these features are currently missing from continuum-based models, and therefore, a new constitutive model for stress relaxation is suggested, incorporating the research findings. Model parameters are suggested based on the DEM simulations. The model is suitable for continuum mechanics-based simulations of gas production from hydrate reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2131
Issue number11
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2019


  • Discrete element method
  • Gas hydrate
  • Sand migration
  • Sand production
  • Stress relaxation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Fuel Technology
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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