The geological formation immediately surrounding a nuclear waste disposal facility has the potential to undergo a complex set of physical and chemical processes starting from construction and continuing many years after closure. The DECOVALEX project (DEvelopment of COupled models and their VALidation against EXperiments) was established and maintained by a variety of waste management organisations, regulators and research organisations to help improve capabilities in experimental interpretation, numerical modelling and blind prediction of complex coupled systems. In the present round of DECOVALEX (D-2015), one component of Task C1 has considered the detailed experimental work of Yasuhara et al. (Earth Planet Sci Lett 244:186–200, 2006), wherein a single artificial fracture in novaculite (micro- or crypto-crystalline quartz) is subject to variable fluid flows, mechanical confining pressure and different applied temperatures. This paper presents a synthesis of the completed work of six separate research teams. A range of approaches are presented including 2D and 3D high-resolution coupled thermo–hydro–mechanical–chemical models. The results of the work show that while good, physically plausible representations of the experiment can be obtained using a range of approaches, there is considerable uncertainty in the relative importance of the various processes, and that the parameterisation of these processes can be closely linked to the interpretation of the fracture surface topography at different spatial scales.
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The authors appreciate and thank the funding organisations for their financial and technical support of the DECOVALEX project work described in this paper. In part, this work was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51322906, 41272349). The statements made in the paper are, however, solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding organisation(s).
Disclaimer The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views or regulatory positions of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) and do not constitute a final judgment or determination of the matters addressed or of the acceptability of any licensing action that may be under consideration at the USNRC. Also, no responsibility is assumed by the authors for any damage to property or persons as a result of operation or use of this publication and/or the information contained herein.
This article is part of a Topical Collection in Environmental Earth Sciences on ‘DECOVALEX 2015’, guest-edited by Jens T. Birkholzer, Alexander E. Bond, John A. Hudson, Lanru Jing, Hua Shao and Olaf Kolditz.
Appendix: Codes and modelling approaches
Appendix: Codes and modelling approaches
See Table 3.
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Bond, A.E., Bruský, I., Cao, T. et al. A synthesis of approaches for modelling coupled thermal–hydraulic–mechanical–chemical processes in a single novaculite fracture experiment. Environ Earth Sci 76, 12 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-016-6326-6