MULTI-SCALE CHARACTERIZATION OF FRACTURED ROCKS USED AS A MEANS FOR THE REALISTIC SIMULATION OF POLLUTANT MIGRATION PATHWAYS IN CONTAMINATED SITES: A CASE STUDY


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Abstract

An integrated methodology is developed to quantify the geostatistical and transport properties of fractured media at multiple scales. Such information is helpful in developing numerical models and estimating the up-scaled transport coefficients of fractured formations. An oil-contaminated fractured site, overlying granite rock and situated in northern Spain, is investigated, and a macroscopic geological model that quantifies the regional distribution of faults and fractures over the entire area is established. The methodology is based on the measurement of fractured outcrops in the field (scale ∼1–100 m), the collection of representative fractured samples and measurement of the fracture aperture (scale ∼0.01–1 mm), and the analysis of macroscopic characteristics (scale ∼1–5 km) of fracture/faults. The multi-scale fracture properties are utilized to construct a discrete fracture/fault network model which provides input data to a macroscopic simulator of contaminant transport in fractured porous media. The transient NAPL migration pathways are predicted for one scenario of pollution. Such information is helpful in the risk assessment of fractured contaminated sites.

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