Shear-induced flow channels and its effect on the particle transport in a single rock fracture
(English)In: Hydrogeology Journal, ISSN 1431-2174, E-ISSN 1435-0157Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
The effect of mechanical shearing on fluid flow anisotropy and particle transport in rough rock fractures was investigated using numerical modeling. Two opposite surfaces of a rock fracture of 194x194 mm in size were laser scanned to generate their respective digital profiles. Fluid flow through the fracture was simulated using a finite element code that solves the Reynolds equation, while incremental relative movement of the upper surface was maintained numerically to simulate a shearing process without normal loading. The motion of solute particles during shearing was studied using a simple particle-tracking code. It was found that shearing introduces anisotropy in both fluid transmissivity and particle motion, with a greatly increased flow rate and particle travel velocity in the direction perpendicular to the direction of shear. This finding has an important impact in the interpretation of the results of coupled hydro-mechanical and tracer transport experiments of hydraulic and transport properies of rock fractures.
rock fracture; shear displacement; coupled hydro-mechanical behaviour; finite element method (FEM); particle tracking
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7468OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-7468DiVA: diva2:12500
QS 201203272007-09-102007-09-102012-03-27Bibliographically approved