The hydraulic characterization of a single fracture

Vesa Tukiainen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Mathematical models are needed in the assessment of groundwater flow distribution in fractures. In this literature survey we examine different conceptual and mathematical models describing flow in a single fracture. The modeling can be divided to two parts: the geometric modeling of the fracture and the modeling of the flow in the geometric model. All geometric models found in the literature were stochastic, which means that the geometry is generated by probabilistic methods. These methods were divided in two main classes: the geostatistical approach and the fractal geometry. Most modelers used the assumption of local cubic law when modeling flow in a variable two-dimensional aperture field. This means that the two-dimensional equation of groundwater flow (Reynolds equation) can be used to describe the flow in the fracture. Various authors have, however, investigated the accuracy of this approximation compared to the full Navier-Stokes equation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Energy Reports


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