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Journal Articles Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Year : 2015

Experimental hydromechanical characterization and numerical modelling of a fractured and porous sandstone

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Abstract

The experimental device previously used to study the hydromechanical behaviour of individual fractures on a laboratory scale, was adapted to make it possible to measure flow through porous rock mass samples in addition to fracture flows. A first series of tests was performed to characterize the hydromechanical behaviour of the fracture individually as well as the porous matrix (sandstone) comprising the fracture walls. A third test in this series was used to validate the experimental approach. These tests showed non-linear evolution of the contact area on the fracture walls with respect to effective normal stress. Consequently, a non-linear relationship was noted between the hydraulic aperture on the one hand, and the effective normal stress and mechanical opening on the other hand. The results of the three tests were then analysed by numerical modelling. The VIPLEF/HYDREF numerical codes used take into account the dual-porosity of the sample (fracture + rock matrix) and can be used to reproduce hydromechanical loading accurately. The analyses show that the relationship between the hydraulic aperture of the fracture and the mechanical closure has a significant effect on fracture flow rate predictions. By taking simultaneous measurements of flow in both fracture and rock matrix, we were able to carry out a global evaluation of the conceptual approach used.
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Dates and versions

ineris-01855549 , version 1 (08-08-2018)

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Mountaka Souley, Philippe Lopez, Marc Boulon, Alain Thoraval. Experimental hydromechanical characterization and numerical modelling of a fractured and porous sandstone. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 2015, 48 (3), pp.1143-1161. ⟨10.1007/s00603-014-0626-5⟩. ⟨ineris-01855549⟩
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