Author(s): Hu Yunjin; Mao Genhai; Cheng Weiping; Zhang Junjun
Keywords: Theoretical and experimental study; flow distribution at fracture intersections; local head losses; correlation analysis
Abstract: This paper involves a theoretical and experimental study of water flow through fracture intersections. Based on the momentum law of water flow. several theoretical formulae used to calculate local head losses at fracture intersections are proposed. Then, experiments for different intersection angles, different aperture ratios, and different inflow ratios between narrower fracture and wider fracture are carried out by using plexiglass models of two intersecting fractures. Both theoretical and experimental results show that local head losses exist at fracture intersections and the intersection angle has effects on flow distribution at fracture intersections. Through the correlation analysis between experimental results and theoretical results, comprehensive correction factors of the theoretical formulae are determined. With the comprehensive correction factors, the proposed formulae can be used to calculate local head losses at fracture intersections. The investigation presented in this paper also provides some insights into the basic principles of flow distribution at fracture intersections.