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Effective Elastic and Hydraulic Properties of Fractured Rock Masses with High Contrast of Permeability: Numerical Calculation by an Embedded Fracture Continuum Approach


Medium: journal article
Language(s): English
Published in: Advances in Civil Engineering, , v. 2019
Page(s): 1-21
DOI: 10.1155/2019/7560724

In this work, the hydromechanical modeling of the fractured rock masses was conducted based on a new numerical simulation method named as embedded fracture continuum (EFC) approach. As the principal advantage, this approach allows to simplify the meshing procedure by using the simple Cartesian meshes to model the fractures that can be explicitly introduced in the porous medium based on the notion of fracture cells. These last elements represent the grid cells intersected by at least one fracture in the medium. Each fracture cell in the EFC approach present a continuum porous medium whose hydromechanical properties are calculated from ones of the matrix and ones of the intersected fractures, thanks for using the well-known solution of the joint model. The determination of the hydromechanical properties of the fracture cells as presented in this work allows to provide the theoretical base and to complete some simple approximations introduced in the literature. Through different verification tests, the capability of the developed EFC approach to model the hydromechanical behavior of fractured rock was highlighted. An analysis of different parameters notably the influence of the fracture cell size on the precision of the proposed approach was also conducted. This novel approach was then applied to investigate the effective permeability and elastic compliance tensor of a fractured rock masses taken from a real field, the Sellafield site. The comparison of the results calculated from this approach with ones conducted in the literature based on the distinct element code (UDEC) presents a good agreement. However, unlike the previous studies using UDEC, which limits only in the case of fractured rock masses without dead-end fractures, our approach allows accounting for this kind of fractures in the medium. The numerical simulations show that the dead-end fractures could have a considerable contribution on the effective compliance moduli, while their effect can be neglected to calculate the overall permeability of the of fractured rock masses.

Copyright: © 2019 Hong-Lam Dang et al.

This creative work has been published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) license which allows copying, and redistribution as well as adaptation of the original work provided appropriate credit is given to the original author and the conditions of the license are met.

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