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Title: Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions

Abstract

Liquid-release tests, performed in boreholes above an underground opening constructed in unsaturated fractured rock, are used in this study to evaluate seepage into a waste emplacement drift. Evidence for the existence of a capillary barrier at the ceiling of the drift is presented, based on field observations (including spreading of the wetting front across the ceiling and water movement up fractures exposed in the ceiling before seepage begins). The capillary barrier mechanism has the potential to divert water around the opening, resulting in no seepage when the percolation flux is at or below the seepage threshold flux. Liquid-release tests are used to demonstrate that a seepage threshold exists and to measure the magnitude of the seepage threshold flux for three test zones that seeped. The seepage data are interpreted using analytical techniques to estimate the test-specific strength of the rock capillary forces ({alpha}{sup -1}) that prevent water from seeping into the drift. Evaporation increases the seepage threshold flux making it more difficult for water to seep into the drift and producing artificially inflated {alpha}{sup -1} values. With adjustments for evaporation, the minimum test-specific threshold is 1,600 mm/yr with a corresponding {alpha}{sup -1} of 0.027 m.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
787041
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 7 Jun 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; FRACTURED RESERVOIRS; EVAPORATION; OPENINGS; WATER INFLUX; RADIOACTIVE WASTE FACILITIES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; UNDERGROUND FACILITIES

Citation Formats

R. C. Trautz, and Joseph S. Y. Wang. Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/787041.
R. C. Trautz, & Joseph S. Y. Wang. Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions. United States. doi:10.2172/787041.
R. C. Trautz, and Joseph S. Y. Wang. Thu . "Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions". United States. doi:10.2172/787041. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/787041.
@article{osti_787041,
title = {Seepage into an Underground Opening Constructed in Unsaturated Fractured Rock Under Evaporative Conditions},
author = {R. C. Trautz and Joseph S. Y. Wang},
abstractNote = {Liquid-release tests, performed in boreholes above an underground opening constructed in unsaturated fractured rock, are used in this study to evaluate seepage into a waste emplacement drift. Evidence for the existence of a capillary barrier at the ceiling of the drift is presented, based on field observations (including spreading of the wetting front across the ceiling and water movement up fractures exposed in the ceiling before seepage begins). The capillary barrier mechanism has the potential to divert water around the opening, resulting in no seepage when the percolation flux is at or below the seepage threshold flux. Liquid-release tests are used to demonstrate that a seepage threshold exists and to measure the magnitude of the seepage threshold flux for three test zones that seeped. The seepage data are interpreted using analytical techniques to estimate the test-specific strength of the rock capillary forces ({alpha}{sup -1}) that prevent water from seeping into the drift. Evaporation increases the seepage threshold flux making it more difficult for water to seep into the drift and producing artificially inflated {alpha}{sup -1} values. With adjustments for evaporation, the minimum test-specific threshold is 1,600 mm/yr with a corresponding {alpha}{sup -1} of 0.027 m.},
doi = {10.2172/787041},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jun 07 00:00:00 EDT 2001},
month = {Thu Jun 07 00:00:00 EDT 2001}
}

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