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Title: A stratified percolation model for saturated and unsaturated flow through natural fractures

A stratified percolation model for saturated and unsaturated flow through natural fractures The geometry of the asperities of contact between the two surfaces of a fracture and of the adjacent void spaces determines fluid flow through a fracture and the mechanical deformation across a fracture. Heuristically we have developed a stratified continuum percolation model to describe this geometry based on a fractal construction that includes scale invariance and correlation of void apertures. Deformation under stress is analyzed using conservation of rock volume to correct for asperity interpenetration. Single phase flow is analyzed using a critical path along which the principal resistance is a result of laminar flow across the critical neck in this path. Results show that flow decreases with apparent aperture raised to a variable power greater than cubic, as is observed in flow experiments on natural fractures. For two phases, flow of the non-wetting phase is likewise governed by the critical neck along the critical path of largest aperture but flow of the wetting phase is governed by tortuosity. 17 refs., 10 figs.
Authors: ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:137703
Report Number(s):LBL--28334; CONF-900406--60
ON: DE90009217; TRN: 90:010318
DOE Contract Number:AC03-76SF00098
Resource Type:Conference
Data Type:
Resource Relation:Conference: 1. international topical meeting on high-level radioactive waste management, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 8-12 Apr 1990; Other Information: PBD: Jan 1990
Research Org:Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 05 NUCLEAR FUELS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; FLUID FLOW; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; GEOLOGIC FRACTURES; DEFORMATION; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; CONTAINMENT; STRATIGRAPHY; SURFACE PROPERTIES; PERMEABILITY; PHASE STUDIES; APERTURES; GEOLOGIC FORMATIONS; WETTABILITY; STRESSES; POROUS MATERIALS; TUFF; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; HYDRAULICS; WATER SATURATION; Yucca Mountain Project