General Information
    • ISSN: 2010-0221
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJCEA
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Eldin W. C. Lim
    • Executive Editor: Mr. Ron C. Wu
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Editor-in-chief
Dr. Eldin W. C. Lim
Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,
National University of Singapore, Singapore
IJCEA 2016 Vol.7(5): 303-308 ISSN: 2010-0221
doi: 10.18178/ijcea.2016.7.5.594

Evolution of Fracture Aperture under Combined Effect of Stress and Flow

Batoul Mahmoudzadeh, Longcheng Liu, Luis Moreno, and Ivars Neretnieks
Abstract—Fracture apertures may decrease or increase by different mechanical and chemical mechanisms when the fractures are subject to stress and flow. A model is presented to describe evolution of fracture aperture mediated by dissolution and precipitation. The model accounts for the fact that dissolved minerals carried by flowing water along the fracture can not only diffuse into and out of the adjacent rock matrix but also at first diffuse into the stagnant water zone existing in part of the fracture plane and then from there into and out of the rock matrix adjacent to it. This simple model allows us to gain some insights into which processes and mechanisms have the larger impact on the fracture aperture under different circumstances. The analytical solution in Laplace domain is used to study fracture closure/opening rate in a pseudo steady state procedure. It is found that the times involved for any changes in fracture aperture are very much larger than the times needed for concentrations of dissolved minerals to reach steady state in the rock matrix, the stagnant water zone and the flow channel. Moreover, it is shown that diffusion into the rock matrix, which acts as a strong sink or source for dissolved minerals, clearly dominates the rate of concentration change and consequently the rate of evolution of the fracture aperture.

Index Terms—Channeling, fracture aperture, modeling, rock matrix diffusion.

The authors are with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail: mbatoul@kth.se).

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Cite: Batoul Mahmoudzadeh, Longcheng Liu, Luis Moreno, and Ivars Neretnieks, "Evolution of Fracture Aperture under Combined Effect of Stress and Flow," International Journal of Chemical Engineering and Applications vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 303-308, 2016.

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