Percolation characteristics of solvent invasion in rough fractures under miscible conditions

Korfanta M., Babadagli T., Develi K.

JOURNAL OF CONTAMINANT HYDROLOGY, vol.205, pp.25-36, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Surface roughness and flow rate effects on the solvent transport under miscible conditions in a single fracture are studied. Surface replicas of seven different rocks (marble, granite, and limestone) are used to represent different surface roughness characteristics each described by different mathematical models including three fractal dimensions. Distribution of dyed solvent is investigated at various flow rate conditions to clarify the effect of roughness on convective and diffusive mixing. After a qualitative analysis using comparative images of different rocks, the area covered by solvent with respect to time is determined to conduct a semi-quantitative analysis. In this exercise, two distinct zones are identified, namely the straight lines obtained for convective (early times) and diffusive (late times) flow. The bending point between these two lines is used to point the transition between the two zones. Finally, the slopes of the straight lines and the bending points are correlated to five different roughness parameters and the rate (Peclet number).