The reasons, prevention, and control of loess disaster are of great concern in practice. In recent years, Xi'an city, China, has taken the leadership in large-scale construction of subway lines in the loess strata. To study the structural response of the tunnel in loess region under local hydrodynamic environment, an experimental testing in 1g as well as a numerical simulation were performed, in which the achieved results were verified and were found to be in good agreement. Furthermore, the results showed that when the water outlet point is above the lining, the overall stress of the lining is peanut shell, as the water pressure of the outlet point decreases, the tensile stress of the top and bottom of the lining increases, while the compressive stress on both sides decreases; the channel form of the flow to the lining changes with the variation of the position of the water outlet point. It is worth mentioning that in the process of water gushing, the closer to the water source, the greater surface subsidence is, and there is a positive correlation between water pressure and surface subsidence. This study is of significant benchmark for the construction, maintenance, and prevention of tunnel in loess strata under the influence of water environment.
The purpose of this paper is to (i) review field data on stress‐induced permeability changes in fractured rock; (ii) describe estimation of fractured rock stress‐permeability relationships through model calibration against such field data; and (iii) discuss observations of temperature and chemically mediated fracture closure and its effect on fractured rock permeability. The field data that are reviewed include in situ block experiments, excavation‐induced changes in permeability around tunnels, borehole injection experiments, depth (and stress) dependent permeability, and permeability changes associated with a large‐scale rock‐mass heating experiment. Data show how the stress‐permeability relationship of fractured rock very much depends on local in situ conditions, such as fracture shear offset and fracture infilling by mineral precipitation. Field and laboratory experiments involving temperature have shown significant temperature‐driven fracture closure even under constant stress. Such temperature‐driven fracture closure has been described as thermal overclosure and relates to better fitting of opposing fracture surfaces at high temperatures, or is attributed to chemically mediated fracture closure related to pressure solution (and compaction) of stressed fracture surface asperities. Back‐calculated stress‐permeability relationships from field data may implicitly account for such effects, but the relative contribution of purely thermal‐mechanical and chemically mediated changes is difficult to isolate. Therefore, it is concluded that further laboratory and in situ experiments are needed to increase the knowledge of the true mechanisms behind thermally driven fracture closure, and to further assess the importance of chemical‐mechanical coupling for the long‐term evolution of fractured rock permeability. This paper reviews stress‐induced permeability changes in fractured rock observed from field data, including effects of temperature and chemically mediated fracture closure. While the stress‐permeability relationship of a rock mass might be bounded from site specific field investigations, it is concluded that further laboratory and in situ experiments are needed to increase the knowledge of the true mechanisms underlying thermally driven fracture closure, and to further assess chemical‐mechanical coupling effects on the long‐term evolution of fractured rock permeability.
Study of the pore space in mudstones by mercury intrusion porosimetry is a common but indirect technique and it is not clear which part of the pore space is actually filled with mercury. We studied samples from the Opalinus Clay, Boom Clay, Haynesville Shale, and Bossier Shale Formations using Wood's metal injection at 316 MPa, followed by novel ion beam polishing and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. This method allowed us to analyze at high resolution which parts of a rock are intruded by the liquid alloy at mm to cm scale. Results from the Opalinus Clay and Haynesville Shale show Wood's Metal in cracks, but the majority of the pore space is not filled although mercury intrusion data suggests that this is the case. In the silt-rich Boom Clay sample, the majority of the pore space was filled Wood's metal, with unfilled islands of smaller pores. Bossier Shale shows heterogeneous impregnation with local filling of pores as small as 10 nm. We infer that mercury intrusion data from these samples is partly due to crack filling and compression of the sample. This compaction is caused by effective stress developed by mercury pressure and capillary resistance; it can close small pore throats, prevent injection of the liquid metal, and indicate an apparent porosity. Our results suggest that many published MIP data on mudstones could contain serious artifacts and reliable metal intrusion porosimetry requires a demonstration that the metal has entered the pores, for example by Wood's metal injection, broad ion beam polishing, and scanning electron microscopy.
The soil-water characteristic curve (SWCC) is the basis for describing seepage, strength, and constitutive model of unsaturated soil. The existing SWCC models do not work accurately for evaluating loess, because they do not consider the pore deformation that is induced by wetting. The present study develops a new SWCC model for unsaturated loess. The model considers the effect of wetting-induced pore deformation (WIPD) on the SWCC. The new model includes 6 parameters, which could be confirmed by laboratory tests. The pore volume function (PVF) was described by the WIPD. The shift factor xi(1i) and the compression factor xi(2i) were introduced into the model. The relationship between the void ratio e and xi(1i) and xi(2i) was established using the average pore radius. The new SWCC model for saturated loess was improved based on the classical van Genuchten (V-G) model. If the WIPD had not been considered, the new model would regress into the classical V-G model. SWCC tests of unsaturated loess with different void ratios were carried out to verify the new model. The model parameters were calibrated in the original state, and the SWCCs of different void ratios were predicted by the new model and found to be in good agreement with the test results.
The collapsibility is one of the key properties for loess. Harmful impacts on the metro tunnels could be obviously subjected to the soaking collapsibility in collapsible loess. However, loess soaking cannot be effectively modeled by the existing centrifugal test equipment (CTE) due to its inherent limitations. In the present paper, a water soaking system (WSS) was improved based on the existing CTE for simulating various loess soaking conditions. The WSS was made of a water storage subsystem and a water distribution subsystem. Some tests were conducted to show the capability of the improved WSS in centrifugal model tests firstly, then it was used to carry out centrifugal model tests on a metro tunnel under full-range and half-range foundation soaking conditions with different soaking depths. The impacts of various soaking conditions on the mechanical properties of the metro tunnel were discussed in detail.
The existing erosion models of abrasive gas jet tend to neglect the effects of the rebounding abrasive. To address this shortcoming, abrasive wear tests were conducted on limestone by using an abrasive gas jet containing different types of particles and with different standoff distances. The results indicate that erosion pits have the shape of an inverted cone and a hemispherical bottom. An annular platform above the hemispherical bottom connects the bottom with the side of the pit. The primary cause of the peculiar pit shape is the flow field geometry of the gas jet with its entrained particles. There is an annular region between the axis and boundary of the abrasive gas jet, and it contains no abrasive. Particles swirling around the axis form a hemispherical bottom. After rebounding, the abrasive with the highest velocity enlarges the diameters of both the hemispherical bottom and erosion pit and induces the formation of an annular platform. The surface features of different areas of the erosion pit are characterized using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). It can be concluded that the failure modes for different locations are different. The failure is caused by an impact stress wave of the incident abrasive at the bottom. Plastic deformation is the primary failure mode induced by rebounding particles at the sides of the hemispherical bottom. The plastic deformation induced by the incident abrasive and fatigue failure induced by the rebounding abrasive are the primary failure modes on the annular platform. Fatigue failure induced by rebounding particles is the primary mode at the sides of the erosion pits. The rock failure mechanism that occurs for particles with different hardness is the same, but the rock damaged by the hard abrasive has a rougher surface.
Magmatic‐hydrothermal ore deposits document the interplay between saline fluid flow and rock permeability. Numerical simulations of multiphase flow of variably miscible, compressible H 2 O–NaCl fluids in concert with a dynamic permeability model can reproduce characteristics of porphyry copper and epithermal gold systems. This dynamic permeability model uses values between 10 −22 and 10 −13 m 2 , incorporating depth‐dependent permeability profiles characteristic for tectonically active crust as well as pressure‐ and temperature‐dependent relationships describing hydraulic fracturing and the transition from brittle to ductile rock behavior. In response to focused expulsion of magmatic fluids from a crystallizing upper crustal magma chamber, the hydrothermal system self‐organizes into a hydrological divide, separating an inner part dominated by ascending magmatic fluids under near‐lithostatic pressures from a surrounding outer part dominated by convection of colder meteoric fluids under near‐hydrostatic pressures. This hydrological divide also provides a mechanism to transport magmatic salt through the crust. With a volcano at the surface above the hydrothermal system, topography‐driven flow reverses the direction of the meteoric convection as compared to a flat surface, leading to discharge at distances of up to 7 km from the volcanic center. The same physical processes at similar permeability ranges, crustal depths, and flow rates are relevant for a number of active systems, including geothermal resources and excess degassing at volcanos. The simulations further suggest that the described mechanism can separate the base of free convection in high‐enthalpy geothermal systems from the magma chamber as a driving heat source by several kilometers in the vertical direction in tectonic settings with hydrous magmatism. These root zones of high‐enthalpy systems may serve as so‐called super‐critical geothermal resources. This hydrology would be in contrast to settings with anhydrous magmatism, where the base of the geothermal systems may be closer to the magma chamber. Dynamic permeability changes in response to expulsion of magmatic fluids from an upper crustal magma chamber.
Established techniques that have been successfully used to characterize pore systems in conventional reservoir rocks lack the resolution and scalability required to adequately characterize the nano‐ to micrometer scale pore systems found in shale and cannot be applied on stressed samples. We have therefore investigated the utility of K linkenberg gas slippage measurements for shale pore structure characterization. In contrast to other approaches, slippage measurements characterize the effective porosity of core samples and can be applied at stress conditions experienced in the reservoir during production. Slippage measurements on horizontally and vertically oriented samples from the E agle F ord S hale F ormation, T exas, USA , at a range of stress states revealed two orders of magnitude in slippage variation over five orders of magnitude permeability range. Slippage measurements are negatively correlated with permeability and follow similar trends to those found in other studies on higher permeability rocks. The samples had varying degrees of slippage anisotropy, which allowed interpretation of the relative contribution of tortuosity and pore size to permeability anisotropy. Slippage and therefore average effective pore size was found to vary up to one order of magnitude at a given permeability, warranting investigation of the significance this might have on flow properties and ultimately hydrocarbon production from shale. The heterogeneity and diversity inherent to shale lends itself to variable responses to stress, likely dependent on myriad of factors including fabric, composition, structure, and flow orientation. Slippage analysis yielded insight into the complex responses of these rocks to stress that other methods of pore structure analysis currently being employed to characterize shale pore systems are blind to.
Thermal springs in the Southern Alps, New Zealand, originate through penetration of fluids into a thermal anomaly generated by rapid uplift and exhumation on the Alpine Fault. Copland hot spring (43.629S, 169.946E) is one of the most vigorously flowing, hottest of the springs, discharging strongly effervescent CO 2 ‐rich 56–58°C water at 6 ± 1 l sec −1 . Shaking from the Mw7.8 Dusky Sound (Fiordland) 2009 and Mw7.1 Darfield (Canterbury) 2010 earthquakes, 350 and 180 km from the spring, respectively, resulted in a characteristic approximately 1°C delayed cooling over 5 days. A decrease in conductivity and increase in pH were measured following the Mw7.1 Darfield earthquake. Earthquake‐induced decreases in Cl, Li, B, Na, K, Sr and Ba concentrations and an increase in SO 4 concentration reflect higher proportions of shallow‐circulating meteoric fluid mixing in the subsurface. Shaking at amplitudes of approximately 0.5% g Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) and/or 0.05–0.10 MPa dynamic stress influences Copland hot spring temperature, which did not respond during the Mw6.3 Christchurch 2011 aftershock or other minor earthquakes. Such thresholds should be exceeded every 1–10 years in the central Southern Alps. The characteristic cooling response at low shaking intensities (MM III–IV) and seismic energy densities (approximately 10 −1 J m −3 ) from intermediate‐field distances was independent of variations in spectral frequency, without the need for post‐seismic recovery. Observed temperature and fluid chemistry responses are inferred to reflect subtle changes in the fracture permeability of schist mountains adjacent to the spring. Permanent 10 −7 –10 −6 strains recorded by cGPS reflect opening or generation of fractures, allowing greater quantities of relatively cool near‐surface groundwater to mix with upwelling hot water. Active deformation, tectonic and topographic stress in the Alpine Fault hanging wall, where orographic rainfall, uplift and erosion are extreme, make the Southern Alps hydrothermal system particularly susceptible to earthquake‐induced transient permeability. In response to large distant earthquakes Copland hot spring cooled approximately 1°C and changed fluid chemistry. Relatively low intensity shaking induced small permanent strains across the Southern Alps – opening fractures which enhanced mixing of relatively cool near‐surface groundwater with upwelling hot water. Active deformation, tectonic and topographic stress in the Alpine Fault hanging wall makes the Southern Alps hydrothermal system particularly susceptible to earthquake‐induced transience.
Metal‐catalysed CO 2 hydrogenation is considered a source of methane in serpentinized (hydrated) igneous rocks and a fundamental abiotic process germane to the origin of life. Iron, nickel, chromium and cobalt are the catalysts typically employed in hydrothermal simulation experiments to obtain methane at temperatures >200°C. However, land‐based present‐day serpentinization and abiotic gas apparently develop below 100°C, down to approximately 40–50°C. Here, we document considerable methane production in thirteen CO 2 hydrogenation experiments performed in a closed dry system, from 20 to 90°C and atmospheric pressure, over 0.9–122 days, using concentrations of non‐pretreated ruthenium equivalent to those occurring in chromitites in ophiolites or igneous complexes (from 0.4 to 76 mg of Ru, equivalent to the amount occurring approximately in 0.4–760 kg of chromitite). Methane production increased with time and temperature, reaching approximately 87 mg CH 4 per gram of Ru after 30 days (2.9 mg CH 4 /g ru /day) at 90°C. At room temperature, CH 4 production rate was approximately three orders of magnitude lower (0.003 mg CH 4 /g ru /day). We report the first stable carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios of abiotic CH 4 generated below 100°C. Using initial δ 13 C CO 2 of ‐40‰, we obtained room temperature δ 13 C CH 4 values as 13 C depleted as −142‰. With time and temperature, the C‐isotope separation between CO 2 and CH 4 decreased significantly and the final δ 13 C CH 4 values approached that of initial δ 13 C CO 2 . The presence of minor amounts of C 2 ‐C 6 hydrocarbons is consistent with observations in natural settings. Comparative experiments at the same temperatures with iron and nichel catalysts did not generate CH 4 . Ru‐enriched chromitites could potentially generate methane at low temperatures on Earth and on other planets. Methane was abiotically produced in CO2 hydrogenation experiments at temperatures from 20 to 90° using concentrations of non‐pretreated ruthenium equivalent to those occurring in chromitites in ophiolites or igneous complexes. Stable C and H isotope ratios of abiotic CH4 generated below 100°C is reported for the first time. Comparative experiments at the same temperatures with iron and nichel catalysts did not generate CH4. Ru‐enriched chromitites can potentially generate methane at low temperatures on Earth and on other planets.
Highly saline, deep‐seated basement brines are of major importance for ore‐forming processes, but their genesis is controversial. Based on studies of fluid inclusions from hydrothermal veins of various ages, we reconstruct the temporal evolution of continental basement fluids from the Variscan Schwarzwald (Germany). During the Carboniferous (vein type i), quartz–tourmaline veins precipitated from low‐salinity (20wt% NaCl + CaCl 2 , Cl/Br mass ratios = 60–110). Both fluids types were present during vein formation but did not mix with each other (because of hydrogeological reasons). Jurassic–Cretaceous veins (vein type iv) record fluid mixing between an older bittern brine (Cl/Br mass ratios ~80) and a younger halite dissolution brine (Cl/Br mass ratios >1000) of similar salinity, resulting in a mixed H 2 O‐NaCl‐CaCl 2 brine (50–140°C, 23–26wt% NaCl + CaCl 2 , Cl/Br mass ratios = 80–520). During post‐Cretaceous times (vein type v), the opening of the Upper Rhine Graben and the concomitant juxtaposition of various aquifers, which enabled mixing of high‐ and low‐salinity fluids and resulted in vein formation (multicomponent fluid H 2 O‐NaCl‐CaCl 2 ‐( SO 4 ‐ HCO 3 ), 70–190°C, 5–25wt% NaCl‐CaCl 2 and Cl/Br mass ratios = 2–140). The first occurrence of highly saline brines is recorded in veins that formed shortly after deposition of halite in the Muschelkalk Ocean above the basement, suggesting an external source of the brine's salinity. Hence, today's brines in the European basement probably developed from inherited evaporitic bittern brines. These were afterwards extensively modified by fluid–rock interaction on their migration paths through the crystalline basement and later by mixing with younger meteoric fluids and halite dissolution brines.
External water pressure around tunnels is a main influential factor in relation to the seepage safety of underground chambers and powerhouses which make managing external water pressure crucial to water conservation and hydropower projects. Theequivalent continuous medium model and the discrete fracture network (DFN) model were, respectively, applied to calculate the seepage field of the study domain. Calculations were based on the integrity and permeability of rocks, the extent of fracture development, and the combination of geological and hydrogeological conditions in theHuizhou pump-storage hydropower station. The station generates electricity from the upper reservoir and stores power by pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir. In this paper, the external water pressure around the cavern and variations in pressure with only one operational and one venting powerhouse were analyzed to build a predictive model. The results showed that the external water pressure was small with the current anti-seepage and drainage system that normal operation of the reservoir can be guaranteed. The results of external water pressure around the tunnels provided sound scientific evidence for the future design of antiseepage systems.
When the collapse column and its adjacent rocks in complex geological structures are disturbed by mining, concomitant fine particle migration, mass loss, and porous structure variation during the water seepage process in broken rocks are the inherent causes for collapse column activation and water inrush. Studying the time-varying characteristics of the mass-loss rate in the dynamic seepage system of the broken rocks is of theoretical importance for the prevention of water inrush from the collapse columns. In this study, the seepage tests of the broken mudstone were carried out using the patented pumping station seepage method, and the time-varying function of the mass-loss rate was generalized. Then, the optimal coefficients in the function of mass-loss rate were computed using the genetic algorithm. At last, the mass-loss rate in the dynamic seepage system of the broken rocks with consideration of the acceleration factor was calculated using Lagrange discrete element method. The results showed that (1) the mass-loss rate was expressed as a time-dependent, exponential function with its coefficient related to the porosity, and its time-varying characteristics were affected by gradation; (2) the time-varying curves with Talbol power exponents less than 0.6 had a rapid change stage and a slow change stage, while the time-varying curves with Talbol power exponents greater than 0.6 had an initial gradual change stage, a rapid change stage and a slow change stage; (3) at the early seepage stage, the mass-loss rate decreased with Talbol power exponent increasing; and (4) after long time seepage, the massloss rate was close to zero and unrelated to Talbol power exponent, and the porous structure in broken rocks remained stable with its porosity close to a certain stable value.
The caved zone during longwall mining has high permeability, resulting in a mass of groundwater storage which causes a threat of groundwater inrush hazard to the safe mining. To investigate the hazard mechanism of granular sandstone and mudstone mixture (SMM) in caved zone, this paper presents an experimental study on the effect of sandstone particle (SP) and mudstone particle (MP) weight ratio on the non-Darcy hydraulic properties evolution. A self-designed granular rock seepage experimental equipment has been applied to conduct the experiments. The variation of particle size distribution was induced by loading and water seepage during the test, which indicated that the particle crushing and erosion properties of mudstone were higher than those of sandstone. Porosity evolution of SMM was strongly influenced by loading (sample height) and SP/MP weight ratio. The sample with higher sample height and higher weight ratio of SP achieved higher porosity value. In particular, a non-Darcy equation, for hydraulic properties (permeability κ and non-Darcy coefficient ζ) calculation, was sufficient to fit the relation between the hydraulic gradient and seepage velocity. The test results indicated that, due to the absence and narrowing of fracture and void during loading, the permeability κ decreases and the non-Darcy coefficient ζ increases. The variation of the hydraulic properties of the sample within the same particle size and SP/MP weight ratio indicated that groundwater inrush hazard showed a higher probability of occurrence in sandstone strata and crushed zone (e.g., faults). Moreover, isolated fractures and voids were able to achieve the changeover from self-extension to interconnection at the last loading stage, which caused the fluctuation tendency of κ and ζ. Fluctuation ability in mudstone was higher than that in sandstone. The performance of an empirical model was also investigated for the non-Darcy hydraulic properties evolution prediction of crushing and seepage processes. The predictive results indicated that particle crushing and water erosion caused the increase of hydraulic properties, being the main reason that the experimental values are typically higher than those obtained from the predictive model. The empirical model has a high degree of predictive accuracy; however, κ has a higher predictive accuracy than ζ. Furthermore, the predictive accuracy of κ increases and ζ decreases with increasing weight ratio of SP.
This paper investigated fractal characteristics of microscale and nanoscale pore structures in carbonates using High-Pressure Mercury Intrusion (HPMI). Firstly, four different fractal models, i.e., 2D capillary tube model, 3D capillary tube model, geometry model, and thermodynamic model, were used to calculate fractal dimensions of carbonate core samples from HPMI curves. Afterwards, the relationships between the calculated fractal dimensions and carbonate petrophysical properties were analysed. Finally, fractal permeability model was used to predict carbonate permeability and then compared with Winland permeability model. The research results demonstrate that the calculated fractal dimensions strongly depend on the fractal models used. Compared with the other three fractal models, 3D capillary tube model can effectively reflect the fractal characteristics of carbonate microscale and nanoscale pores. Fractal dimensions of microscale pores positively correlate with fractal dimensions of the entire carbonate pores, yet negatively correlate with fractal dimensions of nanoscale pores. Although nanoscale pores widely develop in carbonates, microscale pores have greater impact on the fractal characteristics of the entire pores. Fractal permeability model is applicable in predicting carbonate permeability, and compared with the Winland permeability model, its calculation errors are acceptable.