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Calibration of water–granite interaction with pressure solution in a flow-through fracture under confining pressure

Abstract

Fluid–mineral interaction has an irreversible impact on the fracture permeability evolution in the life span of deep geological reservoirs. To investigate the impact, a preliminary study on water–granite interaction in an undeformable fracture under confining pressure is conducted. A 1-D flow and reactive transport model is therefore developed and validated against the experimental data in Yasuhara et al. (Appl Geochem 26(12):2074–2088, 2011). The model takes free-face dissolution on pore walls as well as enhanced dissolution at asperity contacts into account, together with a nested well-equipped geochemical system. The simulation is implemented by FEM-based simulator OpenGeoSys with a plugin module of IPhreeqc for speciation calculation. After calibration, the predictions of effluent element concentrations are in good agreement with the measurements. The study indicates the high effluent concentrations arise from enhanced mineral dissolution at asperity contacts. Pressure solution at anorthite contacts may not take effect under experimental conditions because of the high-level energy barrier to interpenetration, and Al-bearing secondary minerals such as gibbsite may be formed in the current near-equilibrium aqueous system. The sensitivity analysis suggests that contact area ratio is a paramount parameter in determining the surface reactivity and reactive surface area at contacts.

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Notes

  1. SEM-EDX is an abbreviation for scanning electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.

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Acknowledgements

The work stated in this paper is conducted within the context of the international DECOVALEX-2015 Project. And it is also part of the Helmholtz Programs “Earth and Environment,” and “Renewable Energies.” The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent those of the funding organizations. The authors are grateful for the financial support from the funding agencies. The authors would like to thank Dr. Alex Bond for the experienced leadership in DECOVALEX-2015 Task C1 and Prof. Hide Yasuhara for kindly providing raw experimental data. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their important comments for improving the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Haibing Shao.

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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.

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Lu, R., Watanabe, N., He, W. et al. Calibration of water–granite interaction with pressure solution in a flow-through fracture under confining pressure. Environ Earth Sci 76, 417 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-6727-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-6727-1

Keywords

  • Water–granite interaction
  • Pressure solution
  • Fracture
  • Reactive transport modeling
  • OpenGeoSys
  • DECOVALEX