Numerical modeling of stress effects on solute transport in fractured rocks
2011 (English)In: Computers and geotechnics, ISSN 0266-352X, Vol. 38, no 2, 113-126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The effects of stress/deformation on fluid flow and contaminant transport in fractured rocks is one of the major concerns for performance and safety assessments of many subsurface engineering problems, especially radioactive waste disposal and oil/gas reservoir fields. However, very little progress has been made to study this issue due to difficulties in both experiments and numerical modeling. The objective of this study is to systematically investigate the influence of stress on solute transport in fractured rocks for the first time, considering different stress and hydraulic pressure conditions. A hybrid approach combining discrete element method (DEM) for stress-flow simulations and a particle tracking algorithm is developed. The impact of matrix diffusion (diffusion of molecular size solutes in and out of the rock matrix, and sorption onto the surface of micropores in rock matrix) is also included. The numerical results show that stress not only significantly changes the solute residence time through the fracture networks, but also changes the solute travel paths. Matrix diffusion plays a dominant role in solute transport when the hydraulic gradient is small, which is often encountered in practice.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 38, no 2, 113-126 p.
Stress effects, Solute transport, Coupled stress-flow-transport processes, Matrix diffusion, Discrete fracture network, Fractured rocks
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-31356DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2010.10.001ISI: 000287633700002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79551479285OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-31356DiVA: diva2:404400
QC 201103172011-03-172011-03-142011-10-11Bibliographically approved