Gas migration experiments in bentonite: implications for numerical modelling

Graham, C.C.; Harrington, J.F.; Cuss, R.J.; Sellin, P.; Evans, Nicholas. 2012 Gas migration experiments in bentonite: implications for numerical modelling. Mineralogical Magazine, 76 (8). 3279-3292.​minmag.2012.076.8.41

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In the Swedish KBS-3 repository concept, there is potential for gas to be generated from corrosion of ferrous materials under anoxic conditions, combined with the radioactive decay of the waste and radiolysis of water. A full understanding of the probable behaviour of this gas phase within the engineered barrier system (EBS) is therefore required for performance assessment. We demonstrate key features from gas transport experiments on pre-compacted Mx80 bentonite, under laboratory and field conditions, and discuss their implications in terms of a conceptual model for gas migration behaviour. On both scales, major gas entry is seen to occur close to the sum of the porewater and swelling pressures of the bentonite. In addition, gas pressure at breakthrough is profoundly sensitive to the number and location of available sinks for gas escape. Observations of breakthrough can be explained by the creation of dilatational pathways, resulting in localized changes in the monitored porewater pressures and total stresses. These pathways are highly unstable, evolving spatially and temporally, and must consequently influence the gas permeability as their distribution/geometry develops.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):​minmag.2012.076.8.41
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Minerals and waste
Date made live: 12 Feb 2013 13:39 +0 (UTC)

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