Journal Article Modeling of coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical processes for predicting the evolution in permeability and reactive transport behavior within single rock fractures

Ogata, Sho  ,  Yasuhara, Hideaki  ,  Kinoshita, Naoki  ,  Cheon, Dae-Sung  ,  Kishida, Kiyoshi

A multi-physics numerical model was developed to predict the fluid flow and mass transport behavior of rock fractures under coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) conditions. In particular, the model was employed for the purpose of describing the evolution of permeability and reactive transport behavior within rock fractures by taking into account the geochemical processes of the free-face dissolution and the pressure dissolution. In order to examine the capability of the developed model, the model was applied to replicate the experimental measurements of the evolution in hydraulic aperture, permeability, and element concentrations obtained from two flow-through experiments using single granite and mudstone fractures. The model predictions for the granite experiment were able to follow the actual data for the evolution in hydraulic aperture and effluent element concentrations without adopting any fitting parameters that are often used in other THMC coupled models obtained from literature. Furthermore, the model succeeded in replicating the actual changes in fracture permeability and effluent element concentrations within the mudstone fracture. Although some uncertain mismatches between the experiments and the model predictions, such as changes in the concentrations of several elements (i.e., Na and K concentrations in the granite fracture and Al in the mudstone fracture) were remaining at this stage, the developed model should be valid for evaluating the evolution in the fluid flow and mass transport behavior within rock fractures induced by mineral dissolution under stress- and temperature-controlled conditions.

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