Hydraulic conductivity of rock fractures

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Description

Yucca Mountain, Nevada contains numerous geological units that are highly fractured. A clear understanding of the hydraulic conductivity of fractures has been identified as an important scientific problem that must be addressed during the site characterization process. The problem of the flow of a single-phase fluid through a rough-walled rock fracture is discussed within the context of rigorous fluid mechanics. The derivation of the cubic law is given as the solution to the Navier-Stokes equations for flow between smooth, parallel plates, the only fracture geometry that is amenable to exact treatment. The various geometric and kinetic conditions that are necessary ... continued below

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66 p.

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Zimmerman, R.W. & Bodvarsson, G.S. October 1, 1994.

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This report 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. It has been viewed 66 times , with 4 in the last month . More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

Yucca Mountain, Nevada contains numerous geological units that are highly fractured. A clear understanding of the hydraulic conductivity of fractures has been identified as an important scientific problem that must be addressed during the site characterization process. The problem of the flow of a single-phase fluid through a rough-walled rock fracture is discussed within the context of rigorous fluid mechanics. The derivation of the cubic law is given as the solution to the Navier-Stokes equations for flow between smooth, parallel plates, the only fracture geometry that is amenable to exact treatment. The various geometric and kinetic conditions that are necessary in order for the Navier-Stokes equations to be replaced by the more tractable lubrication or Hele-Shaw equations are studied and quantified. Various analytical and numerical results are reviewed pertaining to the problem of relating the effective hydraulic aperture to the statistics of the aperture distribution. These studies all lead to the conclusion that the effective hydraulic aperture is always less than the mean aperture, by a factor that depends on the ratio of the mean value of the aperture to its standard deviation. The tortuosity effect caused by regions where the rock walls are in contact with each other is studied using the Hele-Shaw equations, leading to a simple correction factor that depends on the area fraction occupied by the contact regions. Finally, the predicted hydraulic apertures are compared to measured values for eight data sets from the literature for which aperture and conductivity data were available on the same fracture. It is found that reasonably accurate predictions of hydraulic conductivity can be made based solely on the first two moments of the aperture distribution function, and the proportion of contact area. 68 refs.

Physical Description

66 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE95004815

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  • Other Information: PBD: Oct 1994

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  • Other: DE95004815
  • Report No.: LBL--35976
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/60784 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 60784
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc691364

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  • October 1, 1994

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • April 5, 2016, 10:05 a.m.

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Zimmerman, R.W. & Bodvarsson, G.S. Hydraulic conductivity of rock fractures, report, October 1, 1994; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc691364/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.