Effect of Roughness on Conservative Solute Transport through Synthetic Rough Single Fractures Academic Article uri icon


  • 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 velocityhydraulic 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 c in the Forchheimer equation and the coefficient in the CTRW model appeared to be most relevant for characterizing the heterogeneity of the rough single fractures.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, Z., Zhan, H., Zhao, G., Huang, Y., & Tan, Y.

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Zhou||Zhan, Hongbin||Zhao, Guiqing||Huang, Yong||Tan, Yefei

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM