Water flow and transport through unsaturated discrete fractures in welded tuff
KeywordsVolcanic ash, tuff, etc.
Radioactive waste disposal in the ground -- Environmental aspects.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPorous plates delivered calcium chloride at a negative potential to the top of blocks of partially welded (20.1 x 20.1 x 66.6 cm) and densely welded (30.1 x 20.1 x 48.1 cm) tuff with discrete fractures. During infiltration, flux increased through the partially welded block's fracture as the applied suction was lowered to 2.3 cm. The wetting front advanced 66.6 cm in 239 days. Chloride concentration and temporal moments from five tracer tests with 0 to 5 cm of applied suction indicated that preferential fracture flow occurred. Displacement transducer data reflect a decrease in fracture aperture at several months prior to but not during tracer tests. Fracture transmissivities decreased an order of magnitude (6.4 x 10⁻⁹ to 4.2 x 10⁻¹⁰ M²/s) as the applied suction increased from 0 to 5 cm while the tensiometer data indicated a suction of about 20 cm of water within the fracture and matrix. Highest during infiltration to an initially dry block, inflow losses of 3 to 44 percent due to evaporation are the greatest source of error for the constant potential method used.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources