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Permeability change in macro-fractured granite using water including clay

Nara, Yoshitaka*; Kato, Masaji*; Sato, Tsutomu*; Kono, Masanori*; Sato, Toshinori  

It is important to understand the long-term migration of radionuclides when considering rock engineering projects such as the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The network of fractures and pores in a rock mass plays a major role in fluid migration as it provides a pathway for fluid flow. The geometry of a network can change due to fracture sealing by some fine-grained materials over long-term periods. In the present study, we use a macro-fractured granite sample to investigate the change of permeability that occurs under the flow of water that includes two different amounts of clay. Findings showed that clay accumulated in a fracture and that the permeability (hydraulic conductivity) of the granite sample decreased over time, which was greater in for the higher clay content. We concluded that the accumulation of clay minerals in the fracture decreased the permeability of the rock. Furthermore, we consider that the filling and closure of fractures in rock is possible under the flow of groundwater that includes clay minerals.

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