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Report No.
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Quantifying isolated pore space in geological barrier materials

Hu, Q.*; Wang, Q.*; Oware, P.*; Tachi, Yukio  ; Fukatsu, Yuta ; Illvsky, J.*; Almer, J.*

Pore connectivity is important in controlling fluid flow and mass transport in porous natural rocks. A different extent of pore connectivity can be reflected in the proportion of isolated pore space not connected to the surface of natural rocks. This work presents the multi-approach and multi-scale laboratory studies to investigating the proportion of isolated pore space of, and its resultant anomalous fluid flow and radionuclide movement in, generic geological barrier materials. The samples include mudstone from Wakkanai formation, Opalinus clay from Mt. Terri as well as granodiorite from Grimisel, salt rock from Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, and welded tuff in Yucca Mountain. The independent quantification of both (1) surface-accessible pore space with various probing fluids (e.g., micron-scale tracer mapping using laser ablation-ICP-MS); and (2) total porosity by small angle X-ray scattering. Our complementary approaches provide a rich toolbox for tackling the pore structure characteristics in geological barrier materials, and associated fluid flow and radionuclide transport.

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