Description: The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is currently under scientific investigation as a proposed site for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. A deeper understanding of fracture-matrix interaction needed for the prediction of water movement around an in the repository. We show that the liquid front movement can be classified into physically interpretable, distinctive flow regimes. Asymptotic solutions for the front movement are given for each flow period and comparisons with numerical solutions are made. In addition to applications in nuclear waste storage, the results of our study is relevant to hazardous waste disposal, petroleum recovery, and flow in soil macropores. 17 refs., 13 figs., 6 tabs.
Date: August 1, 1989
Creator: Nitao, J. & Buscheck, T.
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