Esimation of field-scale thermal conductivities of unsaturatedrocks from in-situ temperature data

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A general approach is presented here which allows estimationof field-scale thermal properties of unsaturated rock using temperaturedata collected from in situ heater tests. The approach developed here isused to determine the thermal conductivities of the unsaturated host rockof the Drift Scale Test (DST) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The DST wasdesigned to obtain thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC)data in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain. Sophisticatednumerical models have been developed to analyze these THMC data. However,though the objective of those models was to analyze "field-scale" (of theorder of tens-of-meters) THMC data, thermal conductivities measured from"laboratory-scale" core samples have been ... continued below

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Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Tsang, Yvonne W. & Birkholzer, Jens T. June 26, 2006.

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A general approach is presented here which allows estimationof field-scale thermal properties of unsaturated rock using temperaturedata collected from in situ heater tests. The approach developed here isused to determine the thermal conductivities of the unsaturated host rockof the Drift Scale Test (DST) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The DST wasdesigned to obtain thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC)data in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain. Sophisticatednumerical models have been developed to analyze these THMC data. However,though the objective of those models was to analyze "field-scale" (of theorder of tens-of-meters) THMC data, thermal conductivities measured from"laboratory-scale" core samples have been used as input parameters.While, in the absence of a better alternative, using laboratory-scalethermal conductivity values in field-scale models can be justified, suchapplications introduce uncertainties in the outcome of the models. Thetemperature data collected from the DST provides a unique opportunity toresolve some of these uncertainties. These temperature data can be usedto estimate the thermal conductivity of the DST host rock and, given thelarge volume of rock affected by heating at the DST, such an estimatewill be a more reliable effective thermal conductivity value for fieldscale application. In this paper, thus, temperature data from the DST areused to develop an estimate of the field-scale thermal conductivityvalues of the unsaturated host rock of the DST. An analytical solution isdeveloped for the temperature rise in the host rock of the DST; and usinga nonlinear fitting routine, a best-fit estimate of field-scale thermalconductivity for the DST host rock is obtained. Temperature data from theDST show evidence of two distinct thermal regimes: a zone below boiling(wet) and a zone above boiling (dry). Estimates of thermal conductivityfor both the wet and dry zones are obtained in this paper. Sensitivity ofthese estimates to the input heating power of the DST is alsoinvestigated in this paper. These estimated thermal conductivity valuesare compared with core measurements and those estimated fromgeostatistical simulations. Note that the approach presented here isapplicable to other host rock and heater test settings, provided suitablemodifications are made in the analytical solution to account fordifferences in test geometry.

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  • Journal Name: Water Resources Research; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 9; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 09/27/2007

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  • Report No.: LBNL--60834
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 927367
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893068

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • June 26, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 1 p.m.

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Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Tsang, Yvonne W. & Birkholzer, Jens T. Esimation of field-scale thermal conductivities of unsaturatedrocks from in-situ temperature data, article, June 26, 2006; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893068/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.