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  • 1.
    Frampton, A.
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys Geog, Stockholm, Sweden.;Stockholm Univ, Bolin Ctr Climate Res, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Hyman, J. D.
    Los Alamos Natl Lab, Earth & Environm Sci Div, Computat Earth Sci EES 16, Los Alamos, NM USA..
    Zou, Liangchao
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering. Stockholm Univ, Dept Phys Geog, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Advective Transport in Discrete Fracture Networks With Connected and Disconnected Textures Representing Internal Aperture Variability2019In: Water resources research, ISSN 0043-1397, E-ISSN 1944-7973, Vol. 55, no 7, p. 5487-5501Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Flow and transport in three-dimensional discrete fracture networks with internal variability in aperture and permeability are investigated using a numerical model. The analysis is conducted for three different texture types representing internal variability considering various correlation lengths and for an increase in domain size corresponding to an increase in network complexity. Internal variability in discrete fracture networks generally increases median travel times and delays arrival of bulk mass transport when compared against reference cases without texture, corresponding to smooth fractures. In particular, internal variability textures with weak connectivity increase travel times nonlinearly with domain size increase, further delaying bulk mass arrival. Textures with strong connectivity can however decrease median travel times, accelerating bulk mass arrival, but only for limited ranges of correlation length and domain size. As domain size increases, travel times of textures with strong connectivity converge toward travel times obtained for classical multivariant Gaussian textures. Thus, accounting for internal fracture variability is potentially significant for improving conservative estimates of bulk mass arrival, flow channeling, and advective and reactive transport in large-scale discrete fracture networks. Further, early mass arrival can arrive significantly earlier for textures with strong connectivity and classical Gaussian textures corresponding to intermediate connectivity but are only slightly affected by textures with weak connectivity. Thus, accounting for internal variability in fractures is also important for accurate estimates of early solute mass arrival. The overall impact on predictive transport modeling will depend on the extent of, or lack of, internal fracture connectivity structure in real-world fractured rocks. Plain Language Summary This study investigates transport of waterborne substances in subsurface fractured bedrock, a topic which is of relevance to applications such as subsurface disposal of spent nuclear fuel, storage of carbon dioxide, and disposal of other hazardous material. A physically based numerical model for simulating water flow in the fractured bedrock system is used. Many model-based studies assume fractures to be smooth planes, which are an acknowledged simplification; however, real-world fractures are known to have rough surface asperities. In our study, we account for fracture roughness by assuming textures with different connectivity structure and investigate how this impacts waterborne transport in bedrock. We demonstrate that this type of fracture roughness can control important features of flow and waterborne mass transport. Specifically, most of the mass will generally arrive later than expected when compared to a smooth fracture plane assumption. However, we also observe that a small percentage of mass can, under certain circumstances, arrive earlier than what would be expected if smooth fracture planes are assumed. This means that the assumption of smooth fracture planes should generally be considered a conservative simplifying assumption in the context of subsurface storage, but it is less likely to be accurate when considering early mass arrival.

  • 2.
    Rasul, Hedi
    et al.
    Koya University.
    Zou, Liangchao
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Olofsson, Bo
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering.
    Monitoring of moisture and salinity content in an operational road structure by electrical resistivity tomography.In: Near Surface Geophysics, ISSN 1569-4445, E-ISSN 1873-0604Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Moisture dynamics in road systems significantly affect road structure design and maintenance. This study analysed moisture dynamics in a cross-section of motorway (the E18) in Sweden during a one-year period through in situ monitoring using electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The monitoring methodology was assessed since resistivity can provide a good proxy for monitoring moisture in the road structure. Monthly electrical resistivity was calculated by inverting resistivity data along a pre-installed electrical resistivity line beneath the surface asphalt layer of the road at the test site. The electrical resistivity data were then statistically analysed and correlated with local climate data, i.e. precipitation and temperature, and with ground parameters such as moisture content. The results showed high variation in resistivity in the road surface layer and road shoulders depending on weather conditions, water flow and other surface activities. In general, negative correlations between electrical resistivity and precipitation were observed. The results also indicated possible retardation of de-icing salt after accumulating in the top layer during winter. These findings advance understanding of the moisture dynamics in roads and can help improve pavement design in response to future climate change.

  • 3.
    Shamu, John
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
    Zou, Liangchao
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Kotzé, Reinhardt
    Incipientus Ultrasound Flow Technologies AB, Sweden.
    Wiklund, Johan
    Incipientus Ultrasound Flow Technologies AB, Sweden.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics. Skanska Sweden AB, Sweden.
    Radial Flow Velocity Profiles of a Yield Stress Fluid between Smooth Parallel DisksManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Jing, Lanru
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
    Ivars, Diego Mas
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
    Impact of Normal Stress Caused Closure on Fluid Flow and Solute Retention in Rock Fractures2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modeling of coupled hydro-mechanical and chemical (HMC) processes in fractured rocks is an important topic for many geoengineering projects.  Over the past decades, many efforts have been devoted to study the flow and transport in single fractures with consideration of mechanical effects. It is generally known that the mechanical effects, i.e. normal and shear deformation, significantly affect fluid flow and solute transport processes in rough-walled rock fractures since the deformation may largely alter the structure of fracture apertures that directly controls transmissivity. Due to complicated physical processes combined with complexity of geometry structures, many issues remain open questions, such as fracture surface roughness characterization, deformation dependence of transmissivity and advective transport in natural rock fractures. In this work, we attempt to investigate the impact of stress caused closure on fluid flow and solute advective transport in a rough-walled fracture through numerical modeling.  A rough-walled fracture model is created based on a laser-scanned rock surface. The Bandis’s model is used to describe the fracture closure subject to normal stress. The flow is modeled by solving Reynolds equation and the advective transport is simulated through Lagrangian particle tracking. The results show that the normal stress caused fracture closure creates asperity contacts and reduces the mean aperture, which significantly reduces transmissivity, and affects the travel time and transport resistance. With increases of normal stress, the specific surface area reduces nonlinearly due to the nonlinear closure. In practice, especially for important hydrogeological projects, e.g. nuclear waste disposal, it is important to consider the coupled HMC processes in design and risk assessment.

  • 5.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, U.
    KTH.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Impacts of elastic jacking on rock grouting2018In: ISRM International Symposium - 10th Asian Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMS 2018, International Society for Rock Mechanics , 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The injection pressure is an important design and operational parameter in rock grouting since it controls the grout penetration length and may cause harmful mechanical deformation of the rock mass, such as opening/dilation of the fractures, referred to as jacking. At present, modeling of rock grouting mainly relies on analytical models where the impact of jacking on the grout penetration in rock fractures is not considered. In this study, we present a hydro-mechanical coupled model for rock grouting in a single one-dimensional rock fracture, with consideration of jacking and two-phase flow, i.e. cement grout and groundwater. It assumes that the cement grouts are Bingham fluids and that the rock matrix is an elastic material. The fracture is simplified as a pair of smooth parallel plates. A finite element method (FEM) code is developed to iteratively solve the two-phase flow in the fracture and the elastic deformation of the rock matrix. Two cases with and without consideration of jacking are simulated and compared. The results generally show that jacking of fractures significantly affects the grout penetration in the fracture, which should be properly considered in modeling of rock grouting. This numerical model is able to describe more realistic physical processes in rock grouting, which can be used to estimate the optimal injection pressure in practice. 

  • 6.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics. Skanska AB, Stockholm.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Cement grout propagation in 2D fracture networks: impact of rheology2019In: Proceedings in Earth and Geosciences: Rock Mechanics for Natural Resources and Infrastructure Development / [ed] Sergio A.B. da Fontoura, Ricardo Jose Rocca, José Pavón Mendoza, CRC Press, 2019, Vol. 6, p. 2486-2493Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cement grouts propagation into a two-dimensional water-saturated fracture networks with different values of rheological properties are simulated by using an extended two-phase flow model. The cement grouts are typical non-Newtonian fluids that contain yield stress, which are often assumed as Bingham fluids. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of Bingham rheological properties, i.e. yield stress and plastic viscosity, on cement gouts propagation in two-dimensional fracture networks. The results generally show that the rheological properties of cement grouts, i.e. yield stress and plastic viscosity, significantly affect cement grouts propagation in the fracture network. The propagation rate in the fracture networks reduces with the increase of the yield stress and the plastic viscosity of the cement grouts.

  • 7.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Cement grout propagation in two-dimensional fracture networks: Impact of structure and hydraulic variability2019In: International Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences, ISSN 1365-1609, E-ISSN 1873-4545, Vol. 115, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Analysis of cement grout propagation in water-saturated two-dimensional discrete fracture networks is presented in this study. A two-phase flow model for Bingham fluids flow in a single saturated fracture is extended to simulate cement grouts propagation in saturated networks. Using this extended model, the impacts of network structure and hydraulic variability, i.e., network geometry and aperture distribution, on the propagation process are investigated through numerical simulations. Cement grout propagation in 50 realizations of a two-dimensional discrete fracture network (2D DFN) are simulated with different cases of aperture variability, i.e. constant aperture, uncorrelated and length-correlated heterogeneous apertures following a truncated lognormal distribution. The results indicate that network structure and hydraulic variability significantly affect the grout propagation in 2D DFN systems. The randomized network structure and uncorrelated heterogeneous apertures significantly delay the propagation rate and largely increase the variability range of the propagation volume fraction. In contrast, in the case with length-correlated heterogeneous apertures, the propagation rate increases, while the variability range and rate of change of the propagation volume fraction decreases. The extended two-phase flow model for fracture networks and the simulation results presented in this work are useful for basic understanding of the processes relevant for design, monitoring and execution of rock grouting.

  • 8.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering. Skanska AB, Stockholm.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Characterization of effective transmissivity for cement grout flow in rock fractures2019In: Proceedings of Nordic Grouting Symposium 2019, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cement grouting has been widely used in rock engineering. Proper characterization of the effective transmissivity for cement grout flow in rock fractures is primarily important for the design of rock grouting. In practice, the hydraulic transmissivity of groundwater flow in rock fractures characterized by hydraulic tests, i.e., pumping or slug test, is often used for the design of rock grouting. However, cement grouts used in rock grouting practice are typical non-Newtonian fluids contain yield stress, which has different effective transmissivity from the Newtonian groundwater. Therefore, using the groundwater transmissivity characterized by hydraulic tests may cause significant uncertainty in modeling and design of cement rock grouting. In this study, we focus on the effective transmissivity of non-Newtonian cement grout flow in a single fracture, aiming to illustrate the difference between the effective transmissivity of non-Newtonian cement grouts and the hydraulic transmissivity of the Newtonian groundwater. The cement grout is assumed as a Bingham fluid. The theoretical solution for the effective transmissivity of Bingham grout for homogeneous fractures is presented. This solution is compared with the theoretical hydraulic transmissivity, i.e., the cubic law. The results generally illustrate the significant differences between the effective transmissivity of non-Newtonian cement grouts and the hydraulic transmissivity of groundwater. The effective transmissivity of non-Newtonian cement grout is nonlinear which a function of injection pressure. Using the hydraulic transmissivity for rock grouting may underestimate the propagation length of the cement grout in rock fractures. The obtained result is helpful for rock grouting design in practice to reduce the potential uncertainties caused by using the hydraulic transmissivity.

  • 9.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Modeling of rock grouting in saturated variable aperture fractures2018In: Proceedings of Bergdagarna 2018., 2018, p. 79-87, article id 10Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modeling and analysis of cement grouts flow in rock fractures is important in the design, execution and monitoring of grouting in fractured rocks. At present, modeling of rock grouting mainly relies on analytical models, e.g., the real time grouting control (RTGC) method. In the RTGC method, it is assumed that the rock fractures are consisting of smooth parallel plates or disks and water flow is neglected. However, in reality, the natural rock fractures are commonly consisting of complex rough-walled surfaces and are filled with groundwater; therefore, grouting is actually a multiphase (non-Newtonian grouts and groundwater) flow process in rough-walled rock fractures with variable apertures. In this study, we present an efficient one-dimensional (1D) numerical model for modeling of rock grouting in a single rock fracture with consideration of multiphase flow and variable apertures. It is assumed that the cement grouts are Bingham fluids and that the analytical solution for flowrate with a given pressure gradient in a pair of smooth parallel plates is locally applicable. A time-dependent advection equation is used to describe the interface (between the grout and groundwater) propagation. A finite element method (FEM) code is developed to iteratively solve the mass balance and the interface advection equations. The numerical simulations are compared with the RTGC method. It generally shows that water flow significantly affect grouts penetration in the fracture, especially for the grouts with relatively lower viscosity. The variable aperture significantly postpones the penetration process compared with that of constant aperture. This numerical model is able to describe more realistic physical processes and geometry conditions in rock grouting, which can be readily used in practice to reduce the potential uncertainties in application of simplified analytical models.

  • 10.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Non-Newtonian fluid flow in 2D fracture networks2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modeling of non-Newtonian fluid (e.g., drilling fluids and cement grouts) flow in fractured rocks is of interest in many geophysical and industrial practices, such as drilling operations, enhanced oil recovery and rock grouting. In fractured rock masses, the flow paths are dominated by fractures, which are often represented as discrete fracture networks (DFN). In the literature, many studies have been devoted to Newtonian fluid (e.g., groundwater) flow in fractured rock using the DFN concept, but few works are dedicated to non-Newtonian fluids.In this study, a generalized flow equation for common non-Newtonian fluids (such as Bingham, power-law and Herschel-Bulkley) in a single fracture is obtained from the analytical solutions for non-Newtonian fluid discharge between smooth parallel plates. Using Monte Carlo sampling based on site characterization data for the distribution of geometrical features (e.g., density, length, aperture and orientations) in crystalline fractured rock, a two dimensional (2D) DFN model is constructed for generic flow simulations. Due to complex properties of non-Newtonian fluids, the relationship between fluid discharge and the pressure gradient is nonlinear. A Galerkin finite element method solver is developed to iteratively solve the obtained nonlinear governing equations for the 2D DFN model. Using DFN realizations, simulation results for different geometrical distributions of the fracture network and different non-Newtonian fluid properties are presented to illustrate the spatial discharge distributions. The impact of geometrical structures and the fluid properties on the non-Newtonian fluid flow in 2D DFN is examined statistically. The results generally show that modeling non-Newtonian fluid flow in fractured rock as a DFN is feasible, and that the discharge distribution may be significantly affected by the geometrical structures as well as by the fluid constitutive properties.

  • 11.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics. Skanska AB .
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Non-Newtonian grout flow in single rough-walled rock fractures2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modeling of cement grout flow in rock fractures plays an important role in the design of rock grouting. Cement grouts used in rock grouting practice are typical non-Newtonian fluids containing yield stress, and are often assumed as Bingham fluids. Natural rock fractures typically consist of rough surfaces. Therefore, in reality, rock grouting process actually involves non-Newtonian fluid flow in rough-walled fractures, which is rarely studied in the literature. In this work, we focus on the impact of surface roughness and present direct numerical simulations of non-Newtonian grouts flow in single rough-walled fractures, using a regularized method to approximate the yield-stress. The rough-walled rock fracture models are created from a laser-scanned surface of a granite rock sample, to represent realistic features of natural rock fractures. The numerical results generally show nonlinear behaviors of non-Newtonian fluid flow in rough-walled fractures. The surface roughness significantly reduces the effective transmissivity when Reynolds number is relatively large. The obtained result can be used for upscaling analysis in practice, in order to reduce the potential uncertainties caused by the surface roughness of the rock fractures.

    The full text will be freely available from 2020-01-01 23:22
  • 12.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Håkansson, Ulf
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Two-phase cement grout propagation in homogeneous water-saturated rock fractures2018In: International Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences, ISSN 1365-1609, E-ISSN 1873-4545, Vol. 106, p. 243-249Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modeling of cement grout flow in rock fractures is important for the design, monitoring and execution of rock grouting that is widely used in a variety of rock engineering applications. This study presents a mathematical model based on the Reynolds flow equation for cement grout flow in a homogeneous water-saturated rock fracture. The model is based on two-phase flow, i.e. grout as a Bingham fluid and groundwater as a Newtonian fluid, and is used for investigating the importance of the water phase in rock grouting. The modeling results for the two-phase flow generally show the importance of the water phase that can significantly affect the pressure distribution and grout penetration in the fracture, especially under the condition of grout hardening. Such effects depend on the viscosity ratio between the grout and groundwater, which becomes increasingly important for cases with smaller values of the viscosity ratio. The grout density also affects the grout penetration length. Applying an analytical solution based on single-phase flow, i.e. neglecting the impact of groundwater flow, for modeling grout injection, will generally overestimate the penetration length.

  • 13.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Jing, Lanru
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Effect of sorption on solute transport in a single rough rock fracture2017In: 13th ISRM International Congress of Rock Mechanics, International Society for Rock Mechanics , 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sorption process plays a significant role for solute retardation in rock fractures. In this paper, for the aim to investigate the effect of sorption on solute transport in a single rough fracture, a 2D model of representative single rock fracture was built and its roughness was statistically characterized based on the measured data of rock surface topography by laser scanning. A Finite Volume Method (FVM) code was developed to solve the Navier-Stokes (NS) equations and transport equation for numerical modelling the process of fluid flow and solute transport in the rock fracture model. Two groups of simulations were conducted: with and without the consideration of the sorption process with different average flow velocities. The results show that the surface roughness increased the complexities of flow fields, and the non-linear sorption process plays a significant role in the retardation of solute transport through rock fractures. The sorption process caused an obvious lagging time in both the solute concentration fields (plumes) and corresponding breakthrough curves. This lagging time increases with the distance from the inlet boundary, and relatively decreases with the increase of mean velocities.

  • 14.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Jing, Lanru
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Modeling of Solute Transport in a 3D Rough-Walled Fracture-Matrix System2017In: Transport in Porous Media, ISSN 0169-3913, E-ISSN 1573-1634, Vol. 116, no 3, p. 1005-1029Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fluid flow and solute transport in a 3D rough-walled fracture-matrix system were simulated by directly solving the Navier-Stokes equations for fracture flow and solving the transport equation for the whole domain of fracture and matrix with considering matrix diffusion. The rough-walled fracture-matrix model was built from laser-scanned surface tomography of a real rock sample, by considering realistic features of surfaces roughness and asperity contacts. The numerical modeling results were compared with both analytical solutions based on simplified fracture surface geometry and numerical results by particle tracking based on the Reynolds equation. The aim is to investigate impacts of surface roughness on solute transport in natural fracture-matrix systems and to quantify the uncertainties in application of simplified models. The results show that fracture surface roughness significantly increases heterogeneity of velocity field in the rough-walled fractures, which consequently cause complex transport behavior, especially the dispersive distributions of solute concentration in the fracture and complex concentration profiles in the matrix. Such complex transport behaviors caused by surface roughness are important sources of uncertainty that needs to be considered for modeling of solute transport processes in fractured rocks. The presented direct numerical simulations of fluid flow and solute transport serve as efficient numerical experiments that provide reliable results for the analysis of effective transmissivity as well as effective dispersion coefficient in rough-walled fracture-matrix systems. Such analysis is helpful in model verifications, uncertainty quantifications and design of laboratorial experiments.

  • 15.
    Zou, Liangchao
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Jing, Lanru
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
    Cvetkovic, Vladimir
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure.
    Shear-enhanced nonlinear flow in rough-walled rock fractures2017In: International Journal of Rock Mechanics And Mining Sciences, ISSN 1365-1609, E-ISSN 1873-4545, Vol. 97, p. 33-45Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nonlinear flow in 3D rough-walled rock fractures is simulated by solving the Navier-Stokes equations. The emphasis is on the impact of shear-caused aperture changes (variable apertures and asperity contacts) and flow conditions (inertial term) upon nonlinear flow behavior. In order to compare shear effects, two 3D fracture models, with and without shear, were established with identical initial rough-walled surfaces topographies of a realistic rock sample. Five groups of simulations with different inflow boundary conditions of flowrates/Reynolds numbers (Re) were conducted to demonstrate shear-enhanced nonlinearity of flow fields and limitations of local cubic law (LCL) approach. The flow results clearly show channeling flow along the preferential paths, transverse flow around the contact spots, and eddy flows behind contact spots with increasing Re, which cannot be observed in 2D models. The effective transmissivity of the 3D fracture model was calculated from the modeling results of velocity and pressure fields. The results showed that the effective transmissivity is a function of local apertures with important uncertainties even when Re is small (i.e. Re = 0.4 in this study), thus the validity of the transmissivity evaluation using LCL approach for nonlinear flow in 3D rough-walled rock fractures is questionable.

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