A laboratory assessment of flow characteristics and permeability of fractures in rock
AuthorRyan, Thomas Michael, 1963-
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIntact and fractured rock samples were studied in the laboratory in order to understand more fully the mechanism of closure of fractures subjected to high confining stresses and the resultant effect on specimen permeability. Confining stresses applied to the specimens ranged from 3.0 to 20.0 MPa, and the closure of fractures was observed by monitoring the change in the hydraulic conductivity of the specimens. Test results suggest that some resealing may occur due to crushing and realignment of mineral grains along a fracture surface. The closure of fractures is dependent upon the strength of the rock mass, the physical nature of the fracture, and the fluid pressure present in the fracture. Fracture closure is highly time dependent, and a number of nonlinear pressure flow relationships have been identified. These deviations are thought to represent two fundamentally different processes, the most important of which are turbulence in the flow and fracture expansion.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining and Geological Engineering