Numerical simulations for the effects of normal loading on particle transport in rock fractures during shear
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences, ISSN 1365-1609, Vol. 45, no 8, 1403-1419 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Fluid flow and tracer transport in a single rock fracture during shear is investigated using the finite element method (FEM) and streamline particle tracking, considering evolutions of aperture and transmissivity with shear displacement histories under different normal stresses, based on laboratory tests. The distributions of fracture aperture and its evolution during shear were calculated from the initial aperture fields, based on the laser-scanned surface roughness of feature replicas of rock fracture specimens, and shear dilations measured during the coupled shear-flow tests in laboratory. The coupled shear-flow tests were performed under two levels of constant normal loading (CNL). A special algorithm for treating the contact areas as zero-aperture elements was used to produce more accurate flow field simulations using FEM. The simulation results agreed well with the flow rate data obtained from the laboratory tests, showing complex histories of fracture aperture and tortuous flow channels with changing normal stresses and increasing shear displacements for the flow parallel with the shear direction. A greater increase was observed for flow in the direction perpendicular to the shear direction, due to the significant flow channels created by the shearing process. From the obtained flow velocity fields, particle transport was predicted using a streamline particle tracking method with the flow velocity fields (vectors) taken from the flow simulations, yielding particle travel times, breakthrough curves, and the Peclet number, Pe. The transport behavior in the fracture is also anisotropic, and advective transport is greater in the direction parallel with the shear direction. The effect of normal stress on the particle transport is significant, and dispersion becomes larger with increasing normal stress.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 45, no 8, 1403-1419 p.
Rock fracture, Coupled stress-flow test, Shear displacement, Fluid flow, Particle transport, Finite element method (FEM), Particle tracking method, Reynolds equation, Streamline/velocity dispersion
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-36263DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2008.01.018ISI: 000260926500015ScopusID: 2-s2.0-55849136904OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-36263DiVA: diva2:430502
QC 201107112011-07-112011-07-112011-07-11Bibliographically approved