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Experimental study on the hydromechanical behaviour of a natural unperturbed fracture under normal loading: Derivation of the equivalent hydraulic aperture and its digital reconstruction
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, Applied Mechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9586-8667
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Materials and Production, Applied Mechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4526-4061
2024 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This report describes the laboratory work undertaken to characterize the hydromechanical behaviour of a natural rock fracture under varying normal loading. The hydraulic transmissivity of a granite specimen with a sealed (unopened) quasi-planar natural fracture of length 200 mm and width 200 mm was measured. The transmissivity measurements were conducted in the two perpendicular directions of the fracture, repeating them at five different normal compression stress levels, namely, ~0, 1, 2, 4, and 8 MPa, and flow gradients. The fracture was mechanically opened, and the measurements were repeated to investigate the effect of opening the fracture on its hydraulic transmissivity and hydromechanical behaviour. For one direction, the change in transmissivity was explored for high normal compression stress levels, up to ~40 MPa. Laminar flow conditions were ensured at every stage of the experimental campaign by working at very low Reynolds numbers (<1). The equivalent hydraulic aperture of the fracture was derived by resorting to the parallel-plate model theory. The hydraulic aperture was compared to the mechanical aperture, which was obtained by measuring the deformation of the specimen. In addition to the transmissivity tests, the geometry of the lateral walls and surfaces of the fracture was documented and measured by a series of tools, namely, digital scans, high-resolution pictures, optical readings by a stand microscope, and contact pressure-sheet measurements. The results achieved in this campaign shed light on the hydraulic transmissivity of sealed (unopened) and consequently opened natural fractures, and its dependency to the applied normal compression stress at low to very-low flow rates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. , p. 85
Series
RISE Rapport ; 2024:8
Keywords [en]
Natural rock fracture, Hydro-mechanical behaviour, Transmissivity, Normal load, Coupled stress-flow test, Laminar flow
National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-71540ISBN: 978-91-89896-49-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-71540DiVA, id: diva2:1832961
Note

The experimental work was funded by Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) and is a part of the international project, TASK 10, of the SKB Task Force on Modelling of Groundwater Flow and Transport of Solutes (GWFTS) which involves several international nuclear waste management organisations.

Available from: 2024-01-31 Created: 2024-01-31 Last updated: 2024-01-31Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2024-05-01 08:00
Available from 2024-05-01 08:00

Authority records

Godio, MicheleJacobsson, Lars

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