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A Water Retention Curve Model for the Simulation of Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Processes in Geological Porous Media
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geophysics.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering, Engineering Geology and Geophysics.
2012 (English)In: Transport in Porous Media, ISSN 0169-3913, E-ISSN 1573-1634, Vol. 91, no 2, 509-530 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a new water retention curve (WRC) model for the simulation of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in geological porous media. The model simultaneously considers the impact of porosity and temperature on suction, for both wetting processes and drying processes. The model is based on an idealization of porous geological media as having an isotropic and homogeneous microscopic pore structure. Suction is expressed as a function of degree of saturation, porosity, surface tension of the water-air interface, and the length of air bubble perimeter of the pores per unit area on a random 2D cross-section of the medium. The tension of water-air interface is written as a function of temperature, and the length of perimeter of the water-air interface of the pores becomes a function of porosity and degree of saturation. The final equation of the new WRC is a function of suction, effective degree of saturation, temperature, porosity, pore-gas pressure, and the rate of degree of saturation change with time for both wetting and drying processes. The model was used to fit experimental data of the FEBEX bentonite, with good agreements between measured and calculated results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 91, no 2, 509-530 p.
Keyword [en]
Water retention curve, Soil-water characteristic curve, Suction, Buffer material, Drying and wetting processes, Coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) processes
National Category
Geophysical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12056DOI: 10.1007/s11242-011-9857-zISI: 000298296700008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-83855160869OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-12056DiVA: diva2:300580
Note
QC 20100720. Updated from submitted to published, 20120315. Previous title: A water retention curve model for coupled thermo-hydro mechanical processes of geological porous mediaAvailable from: 2010-02-26 Created: 2010-02-26 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Numerical modeling of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in geological porous media
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Numerical modeling of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in geological porous media
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) behavior in geological porous media has been a subject of great interest in many geoengineering disciplines. Many attempts have been made to develop numerical prediction capabilities associated with topics such as the movement of pollutant plumes, gas injection, energy storage, geothermal energy extraction, and safety assessment of repositories for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. This thesis presents a new numerical modeling approach and a new computer code for simulating coupled THM behavior in geological porous media in general, and compacted bentonite clays in particular, as buffer materials in underground radioactive waste repositories.

New governing equations were derived according to the theory of mixtures, considering interactions among solid-phase deformation, flows of water and gases, heat transport, and phase change of water. For three-dimensional problems, eight governing equations were formulated to describe the coupled THM processes.

A new thermal conductivity model was developed to predict the thermal conductivity of geological porous media as composite mixtures. The proposed model considers the combined effects of solid mineral composition, temperature, liquid saturation degree, porosity and pressure on the effective thermal conductivity of the porous media. The predicted results agree well with the experimental data for MX80 bentonite.

A new water retention curve model was developed to predict the suction-saturation behavior of the geological porous media, as a function of suction, effective saturated degree, temperature, porosity, pore-gas pressure, and the rate of saturation degree change with time. The model was verified against experimental data of the FEBEX bentonite, with good agreement between measured and calculated results.

A new finite element code (ROLG) was developed for modeling fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in geological porous media. The new code was validated against several analytical solutions and experiments, and was applied to simulate the large scale in-situ Canister Retrieval Test (CRT) at Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, SKB, Sweden, with good agreement between measured and predicted results. The results are useful for performance and safety assessments of radioactive waste repositories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. xiv, 84 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1055
Keyword
Thermo-hydro-mechanical processes; Porous geologicalmedia; Numerical modeling; FEM; Multiphase flow; Effective thermal conductivity; Water retention curve; Radioactive waste repositories;Bentonite;
National Category
Geophysical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12009 (URN)978-91-7415-554-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-03-12, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 16:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
THERESA
Note
QC20100720Available from: 2010-02-26 Created: 2010-02-15 Last updated: 2010-07-20Bibliographically approved

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