Wetting front instability in an initially wet unsaturated fracture

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Description

Experimental results exploring gravity-driven wetting front instability in a pre-wetted, rough-walled analog fracture are presented. Initial conditions considered include a uniform moisture field wetted to field capacity of the analog fracture and the structured moisture field created by unstable infiltration into an initially dry fracture. As in previous studies performed under dry initial conditions, instability was found to result both at the cessation of stable infiltration and at flux lower than the fracture capacity under gravitational driving force. Individual fingers were faster, narrower, longer, and more numerous than observed under dry initial conditions. Wetting fronts were found to follow existing ... continued below

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28 p.

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Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J. & Nguyen, H.A. December 31, 1992.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Experimental results exploring gravity-driven wetting front instability in a pre-wetted, rough-walled analog fracture are presented. Initial conditions considered include a uniform moisture field wetted to field capacity of the analog fracture and the structured moisture field created by unstable infiltration into an initially dry fracture. As in previous studies performed under dry initial conditions, instability was found to result both at the cessation of stable infiltration and at flux lower than the fracture capacity under gravitational driving force. Individual fingers were faster, narrower, longer, and more numerous than observed under dry initial conditions. Wetting fronts were found to follow existing wetted structure, providing a mechanism for rapid recharge and transport.

Physical Description

28 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE93008409

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  • 10. international high-level radioactive waste management conference, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 25-29 Apr 1993

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  • Other: DE93008409
  • Report No.: SAND--92-2791C
  • Report No.: CONF-930408--28
  • Grant Number: AC04-76DP00789
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 138783
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc626412

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  • December 31, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 2:21 p.m.

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Nicholl, M.J.; Glass, R.J. & Nguyen, H.A. Wetting front instability in an initially wet unsaturated fracture, article, December 31, 1992; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626412/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.