Flow Across an Unsaturated Fracture Intersection

Maria Ines Dragila, Noam Weisbrod

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Fluid movement through fractured vadose zones is known to be complex, exhibiting spatial and
    temporal variability. It has been observed that under unsaturated conditions, not all fractures,
    even well-connected fractures, actively participate in transport at all times [Salve et al., 2002;
    Faybishenko et al., 2000] and that linear conduits formed by intersections can provide preferred
    paths for flow (e.g., Dahan et al., 2000). Consequently, simply knowing the geometric
    characteristics of a fracture or fracture system alone may be insufficient in predicting when a
    fracture will participate. A better understanding is needed of small-scale behavior of fluid as it
    reaches a discrete fracture intersection in order to develop more accurate rules for active-fracture
    selection. These “rules” are essential if we are to improve the reliability of modeling flow
    through fracture networks in the vadose zone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-33
    JournalDYNAMICS OF FLUIDS IN FRACTURED ROCK
    StatePublished - 2004

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