Anomalous transport on regular fracture networks: Impact of conductivity heterogeneity and mixing at fracture intersections

Peter K. Kang, Marco Dentz, Tanguy Le Borgne, Ruben Juanes

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51 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate transport on regular fracture networks that are characterized by heterogeneity in hydraulic conductivity. We discuss the impact of conductivity heterogeneity and mixing within fracture intersections on particle spreading. We show the emergence of non-Fickian transport due to the interplay between the network conductivity heterogeneity and the degree of mixing at nodes. Specifically, lack of mixing at fracture intersections leads to subdiffusive scaling of transverse spreading but has negligible impact on longitudinal spreading. An increase in network conductivity heterogeneity enhances both longitudinal and transverse spreading and leads to non-Fickian transport in longitudinal direction. Based on the observed Lagrangian velocity statistics, we develop an effective stochastic model that incorporates the interplay between Lagrangian velocity correlation and velocity distribution. The model is parameterized with a few physical parameters and is able to capture the full particle transition dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022148
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Physical Society.

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