Coupled Analysis of Change in Fracture Permeability during the Cooling Phase of the Yucca Mountain Drift Scale Test

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This paper presents results from a coupled thermal, hydrological and mechanical analysis of thermally-induced permeability changes during heating and cooling of fractured volcanic rock at the Drift Scale Test at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The analysis extends the previous analysis of the four-year heating phase to include newly available data from the subsequent four year cooling phase. The new analysis of the cooling phase shows that the measured changes in fracture permeability follows that of a thermo-hydro-elastic model on average, but at several locations the measured permeability indicates (inelastic) irreversible behavior. At the end of the cooling phase, the air-permeability had ... continued below

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Rutqvist, Jonny; Rutqvist, J.; Freifeld, B.; Tsang, Y.W.; Min, K.B. & Elsworth, D. June 1, 2008.

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This paper presents results from a coupled thermal, hydrological and mechanical analysis of thermally-induced permeability changes during heating and cooling of fractured volcanic rock at the Drift Scale Test at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The analysis extends the previous analysis of the four-year heating phase to include newly available data from the subsequent four year cooling phase. The new analysis of the cooling phase shows that the measured changes in fracture permeability follows that of a thermo-hydro-elastic model on average, but at several locations the measured permeability indicates (inelastic) irreversible behavior. At the end of the cooling phase, the air-permeability had decreased at some locations (to as low as 0.2 of initial), whereas it had increased at other locations (to as high as 1.8 of initial). Our analysis shows that such irreversible changes in fracture permeability are consistent with either inelastic fracture shear dilation (where permeability increased) or inelastic fracture surface asperity shortening (where permeability decreased). These data are important for bounding model predictions of potential thermally-induced changes in rock-mass permeability at a future repository at Yucca Mountain.

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  • U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, San Francisco, CA, June 29-July 2, 2008

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  • Report No.: LBNL-466E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 934771
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898621

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

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  • June 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 4:21 p.m.

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Rutqvist, Jonny; Rutqvist, J.; Freifeld, B.; Tsang, Y.W.; Min, K.B. & Elsworth, D. Coupled Analysis of Change in Fracture Permeability during the Cooling Phase of the Yucca Mountain Drift Scale Test, article, June 1, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898621/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.