3 years ago

Reactive solute transport in an asymmetrical fracture–rock matrix system

The understanding of reactive solute transport in a single fracture–rock matrix system is the foundation of studying transport behavior in the complex fractured porous media. When transport properties are asymmetrically distributed in the adjacent rock matrixes, reactive solute transport has to be considered as a coupled three-domain problem, which is more complex than the symmetric case with identical transport properties in the adjacent rock matrixes. This study deals with the transport problem in a single fracture–rock matrix system with asymmetrical distribution of transport properties in the rock matrixes. Mathematical models are developed for such a problem under the first-type and the third-type boundary conditions to analyze the spatio–temporal concentration and mass distribution in the fracture and rock matrix with the help of Laplace transform technique and de Hoog numerical inverse Laplace algorithm. The newly acquired solutions are then tested extensively against previous analytical and numerical solutions and are proven to be robust and accurate. Furthermore, a water flushing phase is imposed on the left boundary of system after a certain time. The diffusive mass exchange along the fracture/rock matrixes interfaces and the relative masses stored in each of three domains (fracture, upper rock matrix, and lower rock matrix) after the water flushing provide great insights of transport with asymmetric distribution of transport properties. This study has the following findings: 1) Asymmetric distribution of transport properties imposes greater controls on solute transport in the rock matrixes. However, transport in the fracture is mildly influenced. 2) The mass stored in the fracture responses quickly to water flushing, while the mass stored in the rock matrix is much less sensitive to the water flushing. 3) The diffusive mass exchange during the water flushing phase has similar patterns under symmetric and asymmetric cases. 4) The characteristic distance which refers to the zero diffusion between the fracture and the rock matrix during the water flushing phase is closely associated with dispersive process in the fracture.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0309170817308205

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