Fracture network evaluation program (FraNEP): a software for analyzing 2D fracture trace-line maps

Conny Zeeb*, Enrique Gomez-Rivas, Paul D. Bons, Simon Virgo, Philipp Blum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Fractures, such as joints, faults and veins, strongly influence the transport of fluids through rocks by either enhancing or inhibiting flow. Techniques used for the automatic detection of lineaments from satellite images and aerial photographs, LIDAR technologies and borehole televiewers significantly enhanced data acquisition. The analysis of such data is often performed manually or with different analysis software. Here we present a novel program for the analysis of 2D fracture networks called FraNEP (Fracture Network Evaluation Program). The program was developed using Visual Basic for Applications in Microsoft Excel(TM) and combines features from different existing software and characterization techniques. The main novelty of FraNEP is the possibility to analyse trace-line maps of fracture networks applying the (1) scanline sampling, (2) window sampling or (3) circular scanline and window method, without the need of switching programs. Additionally, binning problems are avoided by using cumulative distributions, rather than probability density functions. FraNEP is a time-efficient tool for the characterisation of fracture network parameters, such as density, intensity and mean length. Furthermore, fracture strikes can be visualized using rose diagrams and a fitting routine evaluates the distribution of fracture lengths. As an example of its application, we use FraNEP to analyse a case study of lineament data from a satellite image of the Oman Mountains. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-22
Number of pages12
JournalComputers & Geosciences
Early online date31 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • fracture network analysis
  • fracture sampling
  • sampling methods
  • fracture density
  • Oman mountains
  • discontinuity traces
  • mechanical system
  • geological media
  • scanline data
  • Jabal Shams
  • mean length
  • transport
  • density
  • windows


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