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Assessing the validity of the channel model of fracture aperture under field conditions

Water Resources Research

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Abstract

In recent investigations of fluid and solute movement in discrete freactures, spatial heterogeneity of the fracture aperture has been conceptualized as a series of noninterconnecting constant aperture flow paths, or channels. Two methods of estimating the distribution of the aperture sizes are presented using information from a single-hole pumping test and a radially converging tracer test. The first method uses the transmissivity of the fracture and mean arrival time of the tracer, while the second method uses the mean and variance of the solute arrival time. If the fracture can be conceptualized as a series of nonintersecting flow paths of constant aperture, the two methods should yield identical estimates for the parameters of the distribution. The validity of the channel model can be assessed by comparing the parameters of the distribution that are estimated by the two methods. This technique was demonstrated using hydraulic and tracer tests conducted in a discrete, areally extensive, horizontal fracture in the Silurian dolomite in the northeastern Illinois. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Assessing the validity of the channel model of fracture aperture under field conditions
Series title:
Water Resources Research
Volume
25
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
817
Last page:
828
Number of Pages:
12