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Title: Interacting Processes Affecting Unsaturated Fractured Rock Presentation


No abstract prepared.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
MOL.20070130.0008, DC# 50058; TRN: US200709%%291
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2006 GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Q. HU. Interacting Processes Affecting Unsaturated Fractured Rock Presentation. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Q. HU. Interacting Processes Affecting Unsaturated Fractured Rock Presentation. United States.
Q. HU. Wed . "Interacting Processes Affecting Unsaturated Fractured Rock Presentation". United States. doi:.
title = {Interacting Processes Affecting Unsaturated Fractured Rock Presentation},
author = {Q. HU},
abstractNote = {No abstract prepared.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Dec 20 00:00:00 EST 2006}

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  • The tuff formations at and near the Nevada Test Site are comprised of fractured-porous material, with hydrologic properties quite different from those encountered in most previous unsaturated flow studies dealing with soils. In the vicinity of the waste packages, flow is driven by high temperatures (exceeding 100{sup 0}C) and large temperature gradients. The approximations developed in soil science for weakly nonisothermal flow are not applicable to this situation, and a multiphase description of flow is required, similar to approaches used in modeling of geothermal reservoirs and thermally enhance oil recovery. The conventional approach to unsaturated flow is applicable, however, tomore » a variety of problems relating to natural (undisturbed) and far-field flow conditions. This paper reviews recent work on numerical modeling of unsaturated flow undertaken in the context of nuclear waste isolation studies. Concepts and applications of broader interest are summarized, and important issues are identified that have not been adequately explored. 84 refs, 8 figs.« less
  • As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, our research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock integrates fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling. Our research is directed toward developing and validating macroscopic, continuum-based models and supporting effective property models because of their widespread utility within the context of this project. Success relative to the development and validation of effective property models is predicated on a firm understanding of the basic physics governing flow through fractured media, specifically in the areas of unsaturated flow and transport in a singlemore » fracture and fracture-matrix interaction. 43 refs.« less
  • This report presents: (1) a discussion of unsaturated fractured rock flow concepts; (2) a summary of unsaturated fractured rock flow modeling methods; and (3) a discussion of scientific investigations that may be needed to build confidence in the numerical modeling of ground water flow through unsaturated fractured rock. At the present time few experiments have been identified that test the concepts of unsaturated flow in fractured rock. Further, neither the continuum, discrete fracture network, nor the stochastic analytic modeling approaches to modeling ground water flow through unsaturated rock have been tested against either laboratory or field experiments. 17 refs.
  • Questions and answers presented in this paper cover the following topics: Liquid/vapor flow in unsaturated fractures; scaling of processes, properties and parameters; coupled processes; prioritize importance of pathways of ground water travel time or release rates; liquid and vapor flow through fault zones; model validation; techniques for designing and evaluating sample representativeness as well as measurement precision and accuracy; instrumentation for moisture content and suction pressure measurement at the laboratory and field scale; long-term climatic effects; depth and rates of infiltration in fractures and faults at both surface and repository elevation.
  • Modeling Research Group 3 has identified a number of general areas for which technical questions remain unanswered. The group further ranked the areas in order of preceived importance. In each area a number of specific questions were raised and in some cases, a strategy was proposed to address those questions. The following issues and concerns are discussed: flow behavior in fractures and fracture/matrix interactions; model validation; need for new and improved modeling; treatment of uncertainty; scale effects; preferential pathways for flow and transport; scenario development and description;definition and treatment of model boundary conditions; treatment of system heterogeneity; experimentation related tomore » modeling; engineering measures to improve performance of the natural barrier.« less