nerc.ac.uk

An experimental study of the flow of gas along synthetic faults of varying orientation to the stress field: implications for performance assessment of radioactive waste disposal

Cuss, Robert J.; Harrington, Jon F.; Noy, David J.; Sathar, Shanvas; Norris, Simon. 2015 An experimental study of the flow of gas along synthetic faults of varying orientation to the stress field: implications for performance assessment of radioactive waste disposal. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120 (5). 3932-3945. 10.1002/2014JB011333

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
[img]
Preview
Text
jgrb51039.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract/Summary

Critical stress theory states that fault transmissivity is strongly dependent upon orientation with respect to the stress tensor. This paper describes an experimental study aimed at verifying critical stress theory using a bespoke angled shear rig designed to examine the relationship between gas flows along a kaolinite-filled synthetic fault as a function of fault dip. A total of 22 gas injection experiments were conducted on faults oriented 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45° to horizontal; both with and without active shear. Gas flow was seen to be complex; repeat gas injection testing showed a consistent gas entry pressure but considerably different, nonrepeatable, gas peak or breakthrough pressure. Gas flow occurred along discrete, dilatant pathways. The physics governing the pressure at which these features formed was repeatable; however, permeability was dependent on the number, distribution, and geometry of the resultant pathways. The nonrepeatable gas response suggests that the number of pathways was dependent on very subtle variations in gouge properties. No fault orientations were seen to exhibit nonflow characteristics, although critical stress theory predicted that two of the investigated fault angles should be effective seals. However, a small variation in gas entry pressure was seen with fault angle as a result of varying normal and shear stress acting on the gouge material. Shear was seen to enhance gas movement by reducing gas entry pressure and increased permeability once gas became mobile. Therefore, in kaolinite gouge-filled faults, shear is not an effective self-sealing mechanism to gas flow.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1002/2014JB011333
ISSN: 21699313
Date made live: 12 Nov 2015 12:26 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/512201

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...