Impact of stress on solute transport in a fracture network: A comparison study

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Abstract

This paper compares numerical modeling of the effect of stress on solute transport (advection and matrix diffusion) in fractured rocks in which fracture apertures are correlated with fracture lengths. It is mainly motivated by the performance and safety assessments of underground radioactive waste repositories. Five research teams used different approaches to model stress/deformation, flow and transport processes, based on either discrete fracture network or equivalent continuum models. The simulation results derived by various teams generally demonstrated that rock stresses could significantly influence solute transport processes through stress-induced changes in fracture apertures and associated changes in permeability. Reasonably good agreement was achieved regarding advection and matrix diffusion given the same fracture network, while some observed discrepancies could be explained by different mechanical or transport modeling approaches. © 2013 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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Zhao, Z., Rutqvist, J., Leung, C., Hokr, M., Liu, Q., Neretnieks, I., … Zimmerman, R. (2013). Impact of stress on solute transport in a fracture network: A comparison study. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 5(2), 110–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrmge.2013.01.002

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