On Water Flow in Hot Fractured Rock -- A Sensitivity Study on theImpact of Fracture-Matrix Heat Transfer

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Dual-continuum models have been widely used in modeling flowand transport in fractured porous rocks. Among many other applications,dual-continuum approaches were utilized in predictive models of thethermal-hydrological conditions near emplacement tunnels (drifts) atYucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site for a radioactive wasterepository in the U.S. In unsaturated formations such as those at YuccaMountain, the magnitude of mass and heat exchange between the twocontinua fracture network and matrix is largely dependent on the flowcharacteristics in the fractures, because channelized finger-type flowstrongly reduces the interface area between the matrix surfaces and theflowing liquid. This effect may have important implications, for example,during the time ... continued below

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Birkholzer, Jens T. & Zhang, Yingqi June 1, 2005.

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Description

Dual-continuum models have been widely used in modeling flowand transport in fractured porous rocks. Among many other applications,dual-continuum approaches were utilized in predictive models of thethermal-hydrological conditions near emplacement tunnels (drifts) atYucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site for a radioactive wasterepository in the U.S. In unsaturated formations such as those at YuccaMountain, the magnitude of mass and heat exchange between the twocontinua fracture network and matrix is largely dependent on the flowcharacteristics in the fractures, because channelized finger-type flowstrongly reduces the interface area between the matrix surfaces and theflowing liquid. This effect may have important implications, for example,during the time period that the fractured rock near the repository driftswould be heated above the boiling point of water. Depending on themagnitude of heat transfer from the matrix, water percolating down thefractures will either boil off in the hot rock region above drifts or maypenetrate all the way to the drift walls and possibly seep into the opencavities. In this paper, we describe a sensitivity analysis using avariety of approaches to treat fracture-matrix interaction in athree-dimensional dual-continuum setting. Our simulation example is alaboratory heater experiment described in the literature that providesevidence of rapid water flow in fractures, leading to drift seepagedespite above-boiling conditions in the adjacent fractured rock. Theexperimental finding can only be reproduced when the interface area forheat transfer between the matrix and fracture continua is reduced toaccount for flow channeling.

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  • Journal Name: Vadoze Zone Journal; Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 2; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 26 May 2006

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  • Report No.: LBNL--57667
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919924
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893173

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  • June 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 30, 2016, 12:28 p.m.

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Birkholzer, Jens T. & Zhang, Yingqi. On Water Flow in Hot Fractured Rock -- A Sensitivity Study on theImpact of Fracture-Matrix Heat Transfer, article, June 1, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893173/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.