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Water 2017, 9(9), 656;

Effect of Roughness on Conservative Solute Transport through Synthetic Rough Single Fractures

School of Earth Science and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, 35 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4, Canada
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, 225 Guangzhou road, Nanjing 210029, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Understanding solute transport in fractured rocks is of particular importance in many applications. Aperture values ranging from 4.7 to 8.7 mm and Reynolds number (Re) values at 9.38~1743.8 were set for investigating fluid flow through synthetic horizontal single smooth and rough fractures. The Brilliant Blue FCF dye was chosen as the tracer to visualize the transport process. This paper focuses on the dispersion process in rough single fractures under non-Darcian flow conditions. Non-Darcian flow existed in both smooth and rough single fractures and the average flow velocity–hydraulic gradient (VJ) relationships were best described by the Forchheimer equation. The main objectives were to check the existing flow and transport models and to study possible correlations between fitting parameters and heterogeneities. The classical advection dispersion equation (ADE) model failed to capture the long-tailing of breakthrough curves (BTCs). Instead, the continuous time random walk (CTRW) model was better at explaining BTCs in both smooth and rough fractures, especially in capturing the long-tailing feature. The non-Darcian coefficient βc in the Forchheimer equation and the coefficient β in the CTRW model appeared to be most relevant for characterizing the heterogeneity of the rough single fractures. View Full-Text
Keywords: rough single fracture; solute transport; non-Darcian; non-Fickian; heterogeneity rough single fracture; solute transport; non-Darcian; non-Fickian; heterogeneity

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Chen, Z.; Zhan, H.; Zhao, G.; Huang, Y.; Tan, Y. Effect of Roughness on Conservative Solute Transport through Synthetic Rough Single Fractures. Water 2017, 9, 656.

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