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Numerical experiments of flow and transport in a variable-aperture fracture subject to effective normal stresses

Author(s): W.-C. Jeong; D. Bruel; Y.-S. Cho

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Keywords: Flow; transport; fracture; effective normal stress; random walk

Abstract: This paper investigates numerically characteristics of the fluid flow and solute transport in variable-aperture fractures under effective normal stress conditions. In order to represent a nonlinear relationship between the supported effective normal stress and the fracture aperture, a simple mechanical model is combined with a local flow model. The solute transport is simulated by using the random walk particle following algorithm. Obtained numerical results indicate that the flow and transport are significantly affected by the geometry of aperture distribution varying according to the applied effective normal stress (sσ′ n ). The spatial correlation length also has influence on the flow and transport at higher values of sσ′ n . The most efficient path for the flow does not remain the same with sσ′ n . However, the path keeps almost the same form at higher values of sσ′ n . The particles displace only along channels reduced by contact areas increasing with sσ′ n and their spatial dispersion thus becomes constant.


Year: 2006

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