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Report No.

Resin-injection testing and measurement of the shear displacement and aperture of excavation-damaged-zone fractures; A Case study of mudstone at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Japan

Aoyagi, Kazuhei  ; Ishii, Eiichi   ; Chen, Y.*; Ishida, Tsuyoshi*

Safety assessments related to the long-term migration of radionuclides in high-level radioactive waste disposal repositories need to consider the evolution of permeability associated with excavation-damaged-zone (EDZ) fractures. We observed EDZ fractures preserved by resin injection around a gallery in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory in Japan with the aim of assessing the sensitivity of aperture to shear displacement (i.e., dilation angle) in EDZ fractures. To date, shear displacement along EDZ fractures has not been quantified despite its importance for estimating the evolution of fracture aperture around excavations after the repository is backfilled. Enlarged photographs of EDZ fractures fixed by resin were examined to obtain reliable and accurate measurements of the shear displacement and aperture of EDZ fractures without additional disturbance. Measured shear displacement and fracture aperture are poorly correlated, meaning that fracture aperture is insensitive to shear displacement after fracture formation. This insensitivity is closely reproduced by a previously reported empirical relationship and is attributed to the relatively high levels of normal stress acting on fracture surfaces at 350 m depth, which suppress shear-induced dilatation. Considering this insensitivity between fracture aperture and shear displacement, shear-induced dilation of EDZ fractures is estimated to be negligible even if the fractures are shear-displaced after the repository is backfilled, so long as the normal stress acting on fracture surfaces does not reduce substantially. The applied resin injection and fracture observations constitute a useful tool for helping to assess the likelihood of shear-induced dilation after the repository is backfilled.



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Category:Engineering, Geological



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