skip to main content

Title: Estimated bounds on rock permeability changes from THM Processes

We performed THM modeling to estimate bounds on permeability changes in the NFE. For our modeling, we used the TM three-dimensional (3-D) finite-difference code FLAC{sup 3D} version 2.0 (Itasca Consulting Group Inc. 1997) to compute changes in stress and displacement in an elastic model subjected to temperature changes over time. Output from TH modeling (Hardin et al., 1998, Chapter 3) using the code NUFT (Nitao 1993) provided the temperature changes for input to FLAC{sup 3D}. We then estimated how the stress changes could affect permeability. For this report, we chose to base our 3-D THM modeling on a coarser version of the 2-D model we ran for the work described in Chapter 4 of the Near-Field/Altered Zone Models Report (Hardin et al., 1998, Chapter 4). The grid and temperature field were based on those used by the TH code for 50 yr of heating for the reference Case 1 TH model calculated using Total System Performance Assessment-Viability Assessment (TSPA-VA) base-case properties, nominal infiltration, and a point-load repository design (Hardin et al., 1998, Chapter 3). The stress field rotated in the region between and below the drifts after 50 yr of heating. High vertical shear stresses were computed for these regions.more » The maximum computed displacement was about 7 cm, mainly vertical. Estimates of permeability changes were obtained by analyzing stresses, following a method we developed previously for 2-D models. In our 3-D modeling for this report, we only considered vertical and horizontal fractures. We extended our 2-D method to a simplified 3-D case. We conclude that widespread permeability enhancement is likely for fractures parallel to NS fracture set No.2, the vertical fractures that strike north-south, for regions above the drifts. In some regions just above the drifts, permeability may increase by a minimum of a factor of two and possibly more than a factor of four if slip also occurs along the vertical fractures in EW set No.1, the east-west fractures. Our 3-D results agree with those obtained in previous 2-D modeling, with the added advantage that we were able to model permeability changes in directions orthogonal to the 2-D model.« less
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: AH200120%%471
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Aug 1998
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (RW) (US)
Country of Publication:
United States