Flow Across an Unsaturated Fracture Intersection

Maria Ines Dragila, Noam Weisbrod

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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
    StatePublished - 2004


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