Special Issue Article
EVALUATION OF CRITICAL FRACTURE SKIN POROSITY FOR CONTAMINANT MIGRATION IN FRACTURED FORMATIONS
Most of the studies reported in literature on fluid flow and mass transport in fractured formations are based on the assumption that fractures control the overall conductivity of the rock and the porous matrix just provides storage. However, field observations of rock fractures at many locations have shown that fractures in the field can be rather very complex. Observations at some sites have revealed that the portion of the rock matrix adjacent to many open fractures, referred to as the fracture skin, have different transport properties compared to that of the undisturbed rock matrix. This, in turn, is likely to influence the transport of solutes through these formations. To perform modelling in this situation, a numerical model is developed in the present study based on triple continuum approach incorporating the fracture skin as the third continuum. The numerical model is based on the finite difference method and employs a fully implicit formulation. An attempt is made to evaluate the critical fracture skin porosity for crystalline fractured formations.