Thermomechanical effects on permeability for a 3-D model of YM rock
Thermomechanical effects on permeability for a 3-D model of YM rock The authors estimate how thermomechanical processes affect the spatial variability of fracture permeability for a 3-D model representing Topopah Spring tuff at the nuclear-waste repository horizon in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using a finite-difference code, they compute thermal stress changes. They evaluate possible permeability enhancement resulting from shear slip along various mapped fracture sets after 50 years of heating, for rock in the near-field environment of the proposed repository. The results indicate permeability enhancement of a factor of 2 for regions about 10 to 30 m above drifts, for north-south striking vertical fractures. Shear slip and permeability increases of a factor of 4 can occur in regions just above drifts, for east-west striking vertical fractures. Information on how permeability may change over the lifetime of a geologic repository is important to the prediction and evaluation of repository performance.
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