Heterogeneous flow in multi-layer joint networks and its influence on incipient karst generation

Abstract : Various dissolution types (e.g. pipe, stripe and sheet karstic features) have been observed in fractured layered limestones. Yet, due to a large range of structural and hydraulic parameters play a role in the karstification process, the dissolution mechanism, occurring either along fractures or bedding planes, is difficult to quantify. In this study, we use numerical models to investigate the influence of these parameters on the generation of different types of incipient karst. Specifically, we focus on two parameters: the fracture intensity contrast between adjacent layers and the aperture ratio between bedding planes and joints (abed/ajoint). The DFN models were generated using a pseudo-genetic code that considers the stress shadow zone. Flow simulations were performed using a combined finite-volume finite-element simulator under practical boundary conditions. The flow channeling within the fracture networks was characterized by applying a multi-fractal technique. The rock block equivalent permeability (keff) was also calculated to quantify the change in bulk hydraulic properties when changing the selected structural and hydraulic parameters. The flow simulation results show that the abed/ajoint ratio has a first-order control on the heterogeneous distribution of flow in the multi-layer system and on the magnitude of equivalent permeability. When abed/ajoint < 0.1, flow in the system is highly localized and controlled by joints, and the keff is low; while, when abed/ajoint > 0.1, the bedding plane has more control and flow becomes more pervasive and uniform, and the keff is accordingly high. A simple model, accounting for the calculation of the heterogeneous distributions of Damköhler number associated with different aperture ratios, is proposed to predict what type of incipient karst tends to develop under the studied flow conditions.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-02100124
Contributeur : Pascale Roussel <>
Soumis le : lundi 15 avril 2019 - 15:40:01
Dernière modification le : mardi 28 mai 2019 - 13:48:10

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  • HAL Id : hal-02100124, version 1

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Xiaoguang Wang, Herve Jourde. Heterogeneous flow in multi-layer joint networks and its influence on incipient karst generation. AGU 2017 Fall meeting, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. ⟨hal-02100124⟩

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