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Hydromechanical modelling of the SEALEX experiments

Abstract

Numerical modelling of coupled physical processes in bentonite–sand mixtures under the geological conditions is significant for designing and constructing sealing systems in deep underground repositories for highly radioactive nuclear waste. Within the framework of DECOVALEX 2015, Task A, this work presents the model validation of OpenGeoSys by numerical modelling of coupled hydromechanical (HM) processes in bentonite–sand mixtures. Parameters used in the HM model were determined by modelling the laboratory tests of the sealing experiment (SEALEX). Afterwards these parameters were applied for the modelling of a small-scale mock-up test considering the influence of technological gap and incidental fail of the seal in the sealing system. In order to investigate the availability of employing these HM parameters and numerical models directly to field predictions, the modelling results and measured data of an in situ SEALEX experiment were analysed comparatively. The modelling results reproduced well the main features in HM behaviour of the compacted bentonite–sand mixture, which denotes that the adopted HM models and parameters are adequate for describing the HM processes in the sealing system. It is necessary to take the elastoplastic behaviour and evolution of the permeability of bentonite–sand mixtures into account when using the adopted models to reproduce the HM processes of a sealing system.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the UFZ and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). The authors appreciate and thank the Funding Organisations for their financial and technical support of the DECOVALEX project work described in this paper.

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Correspondence to Haiyang Yi.

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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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Yi, H., Wang, W., Kolditz, O. et al. Hydromechanical modelling of the SEALEX experiments. Environ Earth Sci 76, 737 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7080-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-017-7080-0

Keywords

  • Hydromechanics
  • SEALEX
  • Bentonite–sand mixture
  • DECOVALEX
  • OpenGeoSys