Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2020.104525
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Determination of permeability for hydrocarbon release due to excavation-induced stress redistribution in rock salt
Author Shao, H.; Wang, Y.; Nagel, T.; Kolditz, O. ORCID logo ; Yoshioka, K.
Journal International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
Year 2020
Department ENVINF
Volume 136
Page From art. 104525
Language englisch
Keywords Fluid inclusion; Rock salt; Micro-scale pathway dilation; Multi-scale modelling; OpenGeoSys; DECOVALEX 2019

Due to a stress redistribution after the excavation of an underground tunnel for radioactive waste disposal, an Ed/DZ (excavation disturbed/damaged zone) will be generated in the near field of the opening, resulting in significant changes in the hydraulic and mechanical properties of the rock mass in the zone. Initially more or less randomly distributed hydrocarbons at grain boundaries in rock salt, which sometimes can only be observed with ultraviolet light, can then be mobilised and migrate at a potentially significant rate towards the excavation.

Within the international cooperative project DECOVALEX 2019, the migration mechanism of such fluid inclusions in rock salt is being studied intensively. A multi-scale modelling strategy has been developed. A macroscale coupled hydro-mechanical modelling of an underground excavation was performed to determine hydraulic and time-dependent deviatoric stress conditions, by taking into account the rock salt creep behaviour. Under the obtained macro-scale constraints, micro-scale modelling of a pathway dilation along halite grain boundaries was performed using different model strategies: a) coupled hydromechanical modelling with a consideration of hydraulic pressure-induced dilatant deformation, b) nonlinear dynamic model taking account of fluid migration, stress-dependent grain boundary wetting and shear-induced dilatancy of salt, and c) phase-field modelling of flow pathway propagation. The permeability increase resulting from the pathway dilation is estimated to be as high as two orders of magnitude. Based on the permeability determined, a series of pressure build-ups measured from a borehole with a high hydrocarbon release rate, a total of 430 build-ups within a monitoring time of 938 days, can be simulated with a macro-scale compressible flow model accounting for different zones around the opening.

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Shao, H., Wang, Y., Nagel, T., Kolditz, O., Yoshioka, K. (2020):
Determination of permeability for hydrocarbon release due to excavation-induced stress redistribution in rock salt
Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 136 , art. 104525