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The Highest potential transmissivities of fractures in fault zones; Reference values based on laboratory and in situ hydro-mechanical experimental data

Ishii, Eiichi  

The transmissivities (T) of fractures can be related to the fracture roughness ($$JRC_{rm 0}$$), initial aperture ($$E_{rm 0}$$), effective normal stress ($$sigma$$'$$_{rm n}$$), and the tensile strength ($$sigma$$'$$_{rm t}$$) of the intact rock, based on the Barton-Bandis model and their data, and the T (or $$E_{rm 0}$$) can increase by shear-induced dilation. Previous studies revealed that the T of fractures in fault zones, detected as flow anomalies by borehole investigations at six sites, uniformly decreases with the increasing effective mean stress normalized to the $$sigma$$'$$_{rm t}$$. If this uniform change in T can be explained by $$sigma$$'$$_{rm n}$$-dependent fracture-normal-displacement following the Baron-Bandis model, the T represents the highest potential T of fractures in fault zones which can increase by shear-induced dilation. To verify this possibility, this study estimated the $$E_{rm 0}$$ of the fractures using the T, $$sigma$$'$$_{rm t}$$, and possible $$JRC$$ and $$sigma$$'$$_{rm n}$$. Then, using this estimated $$E_{rm 0}$$, the changes in T were simulated, varying $$sigma$$'$$_{rm n}$$. The results well reproduced the observed uniform change in T.

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Category:Engineering, Geological

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