Swiss Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 269–286 | Cite as

Performance of the Opalinus Clay under thermal loading: experimental results from Mont Terri rock laboratory (Switzerland)

  • Antonio GensEmail author
  • Klaus Wieczorek
  • Irina Gaus
  • Benoit Garitte
  • Juan Carlos Mayor
  • Kristof Schuster
  • Gilles Armand
  • José Luis García-Siñeriz
  • Thomas Trick


The paper presents an overview of the behaviour of Opalinus Clay under thermal loading as observed in three in situ heating tests performed in the Mont Terri rock laboratory: HE-B, HE-D and HE-E. The three tests are summarily described; they encompass a broad range of test layouts and experimental conditions. Afterwards, the following topics are examined: determination of thermal conductivity, thermally-induced pore pressure generation and thermally-induced mechanical effects. The mechanisms underlying pore pressure generation and dissipation are discussed in detail and the relationship between rock damage and thermal loading is examined using an additional in situ test: SE-H. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the various thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) interactions identified in the heating tests.


Temperature effects In situ tests Coupled THM phenomena Numerical analyses Heating tests Pore pressures Nuclear waste disposal 



The authors are grateful to the reviewers of the Paper, Prof. Pierre Delage, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Laboratoire Navier, CERMES, France and Dr. Xiangling Li, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Mol, Belgium for their comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Swiss Geological Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Gens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Klaus Wieczorek
    • 2
  • Irina Gaus
    • 3
  • Benoit Garitte
    • 3
  • Juan Carlos Mayor
    • 4
  • Kristof Schuster
    • 5
  • Gilles Armand
    • 6
  • José Luis García-Siñeriz
    • 7
  • Thomas Trick
    • 8
  1. 1.Universitat Politència de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.GRSBrunswickGermany
  3. 3.NagraWettingenSwitzerland
  4. 4.EnresaMadridSpain
  5. 5.BGRHannoverGermany
  6. 6.AndraChâtenay-MalabryFrance
  8. 8.SolexpertsMönchaltorfSwitzerland

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