Retention properties of flow paths in fractured rock

Antti Poteri (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    There is no straightforward way to extrapolate solute retention properties from typical site characterisation scales to typical scales in the performance assessment of the geological disposal of nuclear wastes. Solutes diffuse much deeper into the rock matrix under performance assessment flow conditions than under site characterisation flow conditions. The modelling approach applied in this study, associated with the Äspö Task Force, enables evaluation of the contribution of the individual immobile layers to the overall retention. This makes it possible to determine the influence of the immobile zone heterogeneity on solute retention under different flow conditions. It appears that there is a significant difference between the dominating immobile retention zones on site characterisation and performance assessment scales. Fractured rock is characterised by heterogeneity and in particular a large spread of hydraulic properties. This favours formation of the preferential flow paths by leading to a few dominating transport paths. Large hydraulic features are, on average, better hydraulic conductors than smaller ones. This causes spatial scale effects for the solute retention properties. In particular, the hydraulic properties at the early parts of flow paths are more favourable to retention than those at the later parts of the flow paths.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1081-1092
    Number of pages12
    JournalHydrogeology Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Äspö Task Force
    • fractured rocks
    • solute transport
    • disposal
    • disposal of spent nuclear fuel
    • nuclear waste disposal
    • nuclear waste
    • nuclear waste management


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