Time-resolved 3D characterisation of flow and dissolution patterns in a single rough-walled fracture [chapter]

Benoît Madé, Catherine Noiriel, Philippe Gouze
2007 Groundwater in Fractured Rocks  
An application of X-ray computed microtomography (XCMT) for 3D measurement of fracture geometry is presented. The study demonstrates the ability of XCMT to non-invasively measure the fracture walls and aperture during the course of a reactive flow experiment. The method allows estimation of both the local and global scale dissolution kinetics of a fractured limestone sample percolated by acidic water. The measured fracture geometry was then used as an input for flow modelling, in order to
more » ... , in order to compare the hydraulic aperture calculated by numerical simulation with different evaluations of the aperture: hydraulic aperture measured from pressure drop during the flow experiment, mechanical aperture measured with XCMT, and chemical aperture deduced from calcium removal in the sample. The effects of reactive transport on geometry and fluid flow are discussed. Dissolution appears heterogeneous at both the small scale due to the presence of insoluble clays in the rock, and at larger scales with the formation of preferential flow pathways. These heterogeneous dissolution patterns are not predictable simply by the identification of the areas of higher fluid velocity, where transport of the chemical reaction products (i.e. rate of aperture increase) is presumed to be higher.
doi:10.1201/9780203945650.ch43 fatcat:7ifzbkbpm5gorflcchhyxuemwq