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Analysis and Modeling of Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Phenomena in 3D Fractured Media

Canamon Valera, Israel. Analysis and Modeling of Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Phenomena in 3D Fractured Media. PhD, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2006

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Official URL: http://ethesis.inp-toulouse.fr/archive/00000417/

Abstract

This doctoral research was conducted as part of a joint France-Spain « cotutelle » PhD thesis in the framework of a bilateral agreement between two universities, the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (INPT) and the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM). It concerns a problem of common interest at the national and international levels, namely, the disposal of radioactive waste in deep geological repositories. The present work is devoted, more precisely, to near-field hydrogeological aspects involving mass and heat transport phenomena. The first part of the work is devoted to a specific data interpretation problem (pressures, relative humidities, temperatures) in a multi-barrier experimental system at the scale of a few meters – the “Mock-Up Test” of the FEBEX project, conducted in Spain. Over 500 time series are characterized in terms of spatial, temporal, and/or frequency/scale-based statistical analysis techniques. The time evolution and coupling of physical phenomena during the experiment are analyzed, and conclusions are drawn concerning the behavior and reliability of the sensors. The second part of the thesis develops in more detail the 3-Dimensional (3D) modeling of coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical phenomena in a fractured porous rock, this time at the scale of a hundred meters, based on the data of the “In-Situ Test” of the FEBEX project conducted at the Grimsel Test Site in the Swiss Alps. As a first step, a reconstruction of the 3D fracture network is obtained by Monte Carlo simulation, taking into account through optimization the geomorphological data collected around the FEBEX gallery. The heterogeneous distribution of traces observed on the cylindrical wall of the tunnel is fairly well reproduced in the simulated network. In a second step, we develop a method to estimate the equivalent permeability of a many-fractured block by extending the superposition method of Ababou et al. [1994] to the case where the permeability of the rock matrix is not negligible (matrix permeability may embody some finer fracturing in addition to pore space). When fracture flow is complemented by significant matrix permeability, it may be possible to avoid empirical connectivity-based corrections, which are used in the literature to account for non-percolation effects. The superposition approach is also applied here to coupled Hydro-Mecanical problems to obtain the equivalent coefficients of the 3D fractured medium, including the permeability tensor, but also elastic stiffness or compliance coefficients, as well as pressure-strain coupling coefficients (Biot). Finally, these results are used to develop a continuum equivalent model for 3D couple Thermo-Hydro-Mechanics, including: hydro-mechanical coupling via tensorial Biot equations (non-orthotropic), a darcian flow in an equivalent porous medium (anisotropic permeability), as well as thermal stresses and heat transport by diffusion and convection, taking into account the thermal expansivity of water. Transient simulations of the excavation of the FEBEX gallery, and of the heating due to hypothetical radioactive waste canisters, are conducted using the Comsol Multiphysics ® software (3D finite elements). The results of numerical simulations are analyzed for different cases and different ways of stressing the system. Finally, preliminary comparisons of simulations with time series data collected during the “In-Situ Test” of FEBEX yield encouraging results

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Institution: Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
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Research Director:
Ababou, Rachid and Elorza, Javier
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Deposited On:21 Nov 2012 13:49

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