A novel conceptual model for the flow and transport in fractured rock

Veikko Taivassalo, Aimo Hautojärvi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


In crystalline rock groundwater flows predominantly in fractures and fissures. Strongly varying fracture aperture guides the flow preferentially in some parts of a fracture plane, in so called channels. In our hydraulic model the degree of channeling together with the aperture variation along a channel is included as a factor which is the ratio of the aperture from transmissivity measurements and the aperture from the tracer tests.

The developed transport model takes into account the coupling of molecular diffusion and advection in a velocity field varying linearly over a characteristic width. Various flow velocities in different parts of a channel cause a transient phase with non-Fickian behavior of dispersion. This might erroneously be attributed to other processes e.g. matrix diffusion when not taken into account in the migration modeling of tracers. Molecular diffusion across the flow field, however, tends to smooth out the transport time differences. With time the dispersion diminishes and becomes more symmetric in confined channels.

The concept and models have been applied to predict and interpret field experiments aimed to investigate transport over long distances in highly conductive fracture zones. The analyzed experiments have been performed at the Finnsjön research area in Sweden and they belong to the test case 5 of the INTRAVAL project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XIV
EditorsTeofilo A. Abrajano, L.H. Johnson
Place of PublicationBoston
PublisherMaterials Research Society
ISBN (Print)978-1-55899-104-0
Publication statusPublished - 1991
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventScientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XIV - Boston, United States
Duration: 26 Nov 199129 Nov 1991

Publication series

SeriesMaterials Research Society Symposia Proceedings


ConferenceScientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XIV
CountryUnited States

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