Preferential Flow in Fractured Welded Tuffs

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To better understand preferential flow in fractured rock, we carried out an in situ field experiment in the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This experiment involved the release of {approx} 22 m3 of ponded water (at a pressure head of {approx} 0.04 m) over a period of 7 months, directly onto a 12 m2 infiltration plot located on a fractured welded tuff surface. As water was released, changes in moisture content were monitored along horizontal boreholes located in the formation {approx} 19-22 m below. Distinct flow zones, varying in flow velocity, wetted cross-sectional area, and extent of lateral ... continued below

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Salve, Rohit August 15, 2004.

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To better understand preferential flow in fractured rock, we carried out an in situ field experiment in the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This experiment involved the release of {approx} 22 m3 of ponded water (at a pressure head of {approx} 0.04 m) over a period of 7 months, directly onto a 12 m2 infiltration plot located on a fractured welded tuff surface. As water was released, changes in moisture content were monitored along horizontal boreholes located in the formation {approx} 19-22 m below. Distinct flow zones, varying in flow velocity, wetted cross-sectional area, and extent of lateral movement, intercepted the monitoring boreholes. There was also evidence of water being diverted above the ceiling of a cavity in the immediate vicinity of the monitoring boreholes. Observations from this field experiment suggest that isolated conduits, each encompassing a large number of fractures, develop within the fractured rock formation to form preferential flow paths that persist if there is a continuous supply of water. In addition, in fractured welded tuffs the propensity for fracture-matrix interactions is significantly greater than that suggested by existing conceptual models,in which flow occurs along a section of fracture surfaces. An overriding conclusion is that field investigations at spatial scales of tens of meters provide data critical to the fundamental understanding of flow in fractured rock.

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  • Journal Name: Water Resources Research; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 9; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 29 September2005

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  • Report No.: LBNL--56265
  • Report No.: doi:10.1029/2004WR003570
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 881384
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875796

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  • August 15, 2004

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 2:30 p.m.

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Salve, Rohit. Preferential Flow in Fractured Welded Tuffs, article, August 15, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875796/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.