Development and experimental evaluation of models for low capillary number two-phase flows in rough walled fractures relevant to natural gradient conditions

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The major results from SNL`s Conceptual Model Development and Validation Task (WBS 1.2.5.4.6) as developed through exploration of small scale processes were synthesized in Glass et al. to give guidance to Performance Assessment on improving conceptual models for isothermal flow in unsaturated, fractured rock. There, pressure saturation and relative permeability curves for single fractures were proposed to be a function of both fracture orientation within the gravity field and initial conditions. We refer the reader to Glass et al. for a discussion of the implications of this behavior for Performance Assessment. The scientific research we report here substantiates this proposed ... continued below

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123 p.

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Glass, R.J.; Yarrington, L. & Nicholl, M.J. September 1, 1997.

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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

The major results from SNL`s Conceptual Model Development and Validation Task (WBS 1.2.5.4.6) as developed through exploration of small scale processes were synthesized in Glass et al. to give guidance to Performance Assessment on improving conceptual models for isothermal flow in unsaturated, fractured rock. There, pressure saturation and relative permeability curves for single fractures were proposed to be a function of both fracture orientation within the gravity field and initial conditions. We refer the reader to Glass et al. for a discussion of the implications of this behavior for Performance Assessment. The scientific research we report here substantiates this proposed behavior. We address the modeling of phase structure within fractures under natural gradient conditions relevant to unsaturated flow through fractures. This phase structure underlies the calculation of effective properties for individual fractures and hence fracture networks as required for Performance Assessment. Standard Percolation (SP) and Invasion Percolation (IP) approaches have been recently proposed to model the underlying phase saturation structures within the individual fractures during conditions of two-phase flow. Subsequent analysis of these structures yields effective two-phase pressure-saturation and relative permeability relations for the fracture. However, both of these approaches yield structures that are at odds with physical reality as we see in experiments and thus effective properties calculated from these structures are in error. Here we develop and evaluate a Modified Invasion Percolation (MIP) approach to better model quasi-static immiscible displacement in fractures. The effects of gravity, contact angle, local aperature field geometry, and local in-plane interfacial curvature between phases are included in the calculation of invasion pressure for individual sites in a discretized aperture field.

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123 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98000057

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1997

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  • Other: DE98000057
  • Report No.: SAND--96-2820
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/534488 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 534488
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc690682

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  • September 1, 1997

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • May 18, 2016, 5:41 p.m.

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Glass, R.J.; Yarrington, L. & Nicholl, M.J. Development and experimental evaluation of models for low capillary number two-phase flows in rough walled fractures relevant to natural gradient conditions, report, September 1, 1997; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc690682/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.