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Invasion flow enhanced solute mixing at rough-walled rock fracture intersections
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. KTH. (Engineering Geology and Geophysics)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. KTH. (Engineering Geology and Geophysics)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. KTH.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The processes of fluid flow and solute transport through rock fractures are of primary importance in environmental engineering and geosciences. This study presented numerical modeling results of fluid flow and solute transport in a 3D rock fracture-matrix system with an orthogonal intersection of two rough-walled rock fractures. The rough-walled fracture geometry models were built from laser-scanned data of a real rock surface, for a realistic representation of natural rock fracture surface roughness. The fluid flow in the two intersected fractures and solute transport in the fracture-matrix system were simulated by solving the Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) and transport equation in the entire system. The dependence of mixing on Péclet number (Pe), flow directionality and interaction with matrix diffusion were analyzed. The results showed important invasion flow patterns that significantly enhanced the solute mixing process, which cannot be described by traditional complete mixing and streamline routing models. It also cannot be simulated by simplified 2D geometry models ignoring the surface roughness as widely used in previous published studies. The finding of invasion flow and associated impacts on mixing in this study is particularly important in prediction of solute transport in natural fractured rocks, especially when discrete fracture network (DFN) approach is applied.

Keyword [en]
Rough-walled rock fracture intersection; Navier-Stokes equations; invasion flow; mixing ratio; Péclet number.
National Category
Geophysical Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193672OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-193672DiVA: diva2:1033560
Note

QC 20161010

Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Numerical modeling of fluid flow and solute transport in rock fractures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Numerical modeling of fluid flow and solute transport in rock fractures
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on numerical modeling of fluid flow and solute transport in rough-walled rock fractures and fracture-matrix systems, with the main aim to investigate the impacts of fracture surface roughness on flow and transport processes in rock fractures. Both 2D and 3D fracture models were built from laser-scanned surface tomography of a real granite rock sample, to consider realistic features of surface tomography and potential asperity contacts. The flow was simulated by directly solving the Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) and the transport was modeled by solving the advection-dispersion equation (ADE) in the entire domain of fracture-matrix system, including matrix diffusion process. Such direct simulations provided detailed flow and concentration fields for quantitatively analysis of flow and transport behavior. The detailed analysis of surface roughness decomposition, complex flow patterns (i.e., channeling, transverse and eddy flows), effective advective flow apertures, effective transmissivity, effective dispersivity, residence time, transport resistance and specific surface area demonstrated significant impacts of realistic fracture surface roughness on fluid flow and solute transport processes in rock fractures. The results show that the surface roughness and shear displacement caused asperity contacts significantly enhance nonlinearity and complexity of flow and transport processes in rough-walled fractures and fracture-matrix systems. The surface roughness also causes invasion flows in intersected fractures which enhance solute mixing at fracture intersections. Therefore, the fracture surface roughness is an important source of uncertainty in application of such simplified models like cubic law (CL) for fluid flow and analytical solutions for solute transport in rock fractures. The research conducted advances our understanding of realistic flow and transport processes in natural fractured rocks. The results are useful for model validation/extension, uncertainty analysis/quantification and laboratory experiments design in the context of various applications related to fracture flow and transport.

Abstract [sv]

Denna studie fokuserar på numerisk modellering av vätskeflöde och transport av lösta ämnen i frakturer med ojämna väggar samt fraktur-matrissystem, med det huvudsakliga syftet att undersöka effekterna av frakturernas ytjämnhet på flödes- och transportprocesser i bergsfrakturer. Både 2D och 3D modeller skapades utifrån laser skannad tomografi av ett verkligt bergartsprov av granit, för att överväga de realistiska egenskaperna hos ytan och potentiell skrovlighet. Flödet simulerades genom att lösa Navier-Stokes ekvationer (NSE) och transporten modellerades genom att lösa advektion-dispersion ekvation (ADE) i hela domänen av fraktur-matrissystemet, inklusive diffusions process i matrisen. Sådana direkta simuleringar resulterade i detaljerade flödes- och koncentrationsfält för att kvantitativt kunna analysera flödet och transportbeteendet. En detaljerad analys av upplösningen av ytjämnhet, komplexa flödesmönster (dvs kanalisering, tvärgående och virvelströmmar), effektiv advektiv flödesöppning, effektiv transmissivitet, effektiv dispersivitet, uppehållstid, transport motstånd och specifik yta visade signifikanta effekter av realistiska ojämna frakturväggar på vätskeflöde och lösta transportprocesser i bergssprickor. Resultaten visar att ytjämnhet och skjuvningssystemsorsakade asperitetskontakter avsevärt förbättrar olinjäritet och komplexitet av flödes- och transportprocesser i frakturer med ojämna väggar samt fraktur-matrissystem. Ytråheten orsakar också intrång av flöde i tvärgående frakturer vilket ökar blandingen av lösta ämnen i korsningarna. Därför är ytjämnhet av frakturerna en viktig källa till osäkerhet i tillämpningen av sådana förenklade modeller som kubisk lag (CL) för vätskeflöde och analytiska lösningar för transport av lösta ämnen i bergsfrakturer. Studien har ökat förståelsen för realistiska flödes- och transportprocesser i naturligt sprucket berg. Resultaten är användbara för modellvalidering/förlängning, osäkerhetsanalys/kvantifiering och design av laboratorieexperiment i samband med olika tillämpningar av flöde och transport i bergsfrakturer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2016. 47 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; PhD - 2016:08
Keyword
Rough-walled rock fractures; Nonlinear flow; Solute transport; Navier-Stokes equations; Matrix diffusion; Uncertainty.
National Category
Geophysical Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193666 (URN)978-91-7729-138-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-03, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20161010

Available from: 2016-10-10 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2018-10-09 12:20
Available from 2018-10-09 12:20

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