A new method, the characteristic finite element method (CFEM), was developed to simulate solute transport in a cross-fracture. The solution of this mathematical model for solute transport considered that the contribution of convection and dispersion terms was deduced using the single-step, trace-back method and routine finite element method (FEM). Also, experimental models were designed to verify the reliability and validity of the CFEM. Results showed that experimental data from a single fracture model agreed with numerical simulations obtained from the use of the CFEM. However, routine FEM caused numerical oscillation and dispersion during the calculation of solute concentration. Furthermore, in this cross-fracture model, CFEM simulation results predicted that the arrival time of concentration peak values decreased with increasing flux. Also, the second concentration peak value was obvious with the decrease of flux, which may have resulted from the convergence of solute concentrations from main, and branch, fractures.
Chen, L. fei, & Huang, Y. (2016). Experimental study and characteristic finite element simulation of solute transport in a cross-fracture. Geoscience Frontiers, 7(6), 963–967. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2015.11.001