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Title: Hydro-mechanical model for wetting/drying and fracture development in geomaterials

This study presents a modeling approach for studying hydro-mechanical coupled processes, including fracture development, within geological formations. This is accomplished through the novel linking of two codes: TOUGH2, which is a widely used simulator of subsurface multiphase flow based on the finite volume method; and an implementation of the Rigid-Body-Spring Network (RBSN) method, which provides a discrete (lattice) representation of material elasticity and fracture development. The modeling approach is facilitated by a Voronoi-based discretization technique, capable of representing discrete fracture networks. The TOUGH–RBSN simulator is intended to predict fracture evolution, as well as mass transport through permeable media, under dynamically changing hydrologic and mechanical conditions. Numerical results are compared with those of two independent studies involving hydro-mechanical coupling: (1) numerical modeling of swelling stress development in bentonite; and (2) experimental study of desiccation cracking in a mining waste. The comparisons show good agreement with respect to moisture content, stress development with changes in pore pressure, and time to crack initiation. Finally, the observed relationship between material thickness and crack patterns (e.g., mean spacing of cracks) is captured by the proposed modeling approach.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Earth Sciences Division
  2. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Computers and Geosciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 65; Journal ID: ISSN 0098-3004
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; coupled modeling; TOUGH2; lattice models; discrete fracture network; desiccation cracking; Voronoi tessellation
OSTI Identifier:
1407232

Asahina, D., Houseworth, J. E., Birkholzer, J. T., Rutqvist, J., and Bolander, J. E.. Hydro-mechanical model for wetting/drying and fracture development in geomaterials. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2013.12.009.
Asahina, D., Houseworth, J. E., Birkholzer, J. T., Rutqvist, J., & Bolander, J. E.. Hydro-mechanical model for wetting/drying and fracture development in geomaterials. United States. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2013.12.009.
Asahina, D., Houseworth, J. E., Birkholzer, J. T., Rutqvist, J., and Bolander, J. E.. 2013. "Hydro-mechanical model for wetting/drying and fracture development in geomaterials". United States. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2013.12.009. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1407232.
@article{osti_1407232,
title = {Hydro-mechanical model for wetting/drying and fracture development in geomaterials},
author = {Asahina, D. and Houseworth, J. E. and Birkholzer, J. T. and Rutqvist, J. and Bolander, J. E.},
abstractNote = {This study presents a modeling approach for studying hydro-mechanical coupled processes, including fracture development, within geological formations. This is accomplished through the novel linking of two codes: TOUGH2, which is a widely used simulator of subsurface multiphase flow based on the finite volume method; and an implementation of the Rigid-Body-Spring Network (RBSN) method, which provides a discrete (lattice) representation of material elasticity and fracture development. The modeling approach is facilitated by a Voronoi-based discretization technique, capable of representing discrete fracture networks. The TOUGH–RBSN simulator is intended to predict fracture evolution, as well as mass transport through permeable media, under dynamically changing hydrologic and mechanical conditions. Numerical results are compared with those of two independent studies involving hydro-mechanical coupling: (1) numerical modeling of swelling stress development in bentonite; and (2) experimental study of desiccation cracking in a mining waste. The comparisons show good agreement with respect to moisture content, stress development with changes in pore pressure, and time to crack initiation. Finally, the observed relationship between material thickness and crack patterns (e.g., mean spacing of cracks) is captured by the proposed modeling approach.},
doi = {10.1016/j.cageo.2013.12.009},
journal = {Computers and Geosciences},
number = ,
volume = 65,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {12}
}