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Journal Articles

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

Ishii, Eiichi

Engineering Geology, 294, p.106369_1 - 106369_12, 2021/12

 Times Cited Count:0

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.

JAEA Reports

Update on the regional-scale 3D geological model in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project

Sakai, Toshihiro; Ishii, Eiichi

JAEA-Data/Code 2021-009, 13 Pages, 2021/08


Japan Atomic Energy Agency is performing the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project, which includes a scientific study of the deep geological environment as a basis of research and development for the geological disposal of high level radioactive wastes, in order to establish comprehensive techniques for the investigation, analysis and assessment of the deep geological environment in the sedimentary rock. The numerical data of 3D geological model in regional-scale was compiled in 2019 as JAEA-Data/Code 2019-007, and then this report updates a part of the numerical data of 3D geological model around the underground facilities.

Journal Articles

Poroelastic hydraulic-response of fractured mudstone to excavation in the Horonobe URL; As an indicator of fracture hydraulic-disconnectivity

Ozaki, Yusuke; Ishii, Eiichi; Sugawara, Kentaro*

Extanded abstract of International Conference on Coupled Processes in Fractured Geological Media; Observation, Modeling, and Application (CouFrac 2020) (Internet), 4 Pages, 2020/11

We perform the numerical simulation of the response of hydraulic head observed in HDB-6 during the excavation of the Horonobe URL to verify the existence of low effective permeable domain in the subsurface. The low permeable domain as an intact rock due to the low hydraulic fracture connectivity is estimated to exist in the deep domain while the permeability of the shallow domain is relatively high due to the hydraulic fracture connectivity there. Our simulation shows that the observed hydraulic head is affected by the Mandel-Cryer effect due to the hydrogeological structure and the effect for the duration of over years requires the low permeability as an intact rock in the deep domain. These results verify the existence of the low effective permeable domain in the deep subsurface estimated by the previous study.

Journal Articles

A Conventional straddle-sliding-packer system as a borehole extensometer; Monitoring shear displacement of a fault during an injection test

Ishii, Eiichi

Engineering Geology, 275, p.105748_1 - 105748_12, 2020/09


 Times Cited Count:2 Percentile:32.13(Engineering, Geological)

A constant-head step injection test using a conventional straddle-packer system was performed for a normal fault in siliceous mudstone. The test applied a new method whereby axial displacements of isolated test sections in a borehole during injection are monitored by measuring the pressures of sliding packers and the pore pressure in the test section. The measured pressures and axial displacement, and the injection flow rate, were used to estimate the hydraulic aperture, shear displacement, normal compliance, normal stress, shear stiffness and hydraulic dilation angle of the fault during the test. The injection successfully yielded a large shear displacement during normal faulting of up to 13.3-49.5 mm (including the estimation error), which left residual shear displacement of 2.8-10.4 mm after a remarkable shear-slip event. The shear stiffness during faulting is estimated to be 2.3 $$times$$ 10$$^{7}$$ to 8.4 $$times$$ 10$$^{7}$$ Pa m$$^{-1}$$ (considering the estimation error), which is consistent with empirically predicted values based on previous studies. The hydraulic dilation angle was inferred to be effectively zero as the residual shear displacement did not leave any increase in hydraulic aperture. The experimental method applied here does not require specialized equipment and could aid in the investigation of the hydromechanical behavior of subsurface fractures or aquifers.

JAEA Reports

Poro-elastic parameter acquisition test using siliceous mudstone (Wakkanai formation)

Aoki, Tomoyuki*; Tani, Takuya*; Sakai, Kazuo*; Koga, Yoshihisa*; Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Ishii, Eiichi

JAEA-Research 2020-002, 83 Pages, 2020/06


The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has conducted with the Horonobe Underground Research Project in Horonobe, Teshio-gun, Hokkaido for the purpose of research and development related to geological disposal technology for high-level radioactive wastes in sedimentary soft rocks. The geology around the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (HURL) is composed of the Koetoi diatomaceous mudstone layer and the Wakkanai siliceous layer, both of which contain a large amount of diatom fossils. Since these rocks exhibit relatively high porosity but low permeability, it is important to investigate the poro-elastic characteristics of the rock mass. For this objective, it is necessary to measure parameters based on the poro-elastic theory. However, there are few measurement results of the poro-elastic parameters for the geology around HURL, and the characteristics such as dependence on confining pressure are not clearly understood. One of the reasons is that the rocks show low permeability and the pressure control during testing is difficult. Therefore, a poro-elastic parameter measurement test was conducted on the siliceous mudstone of the Wakkanai formation to accumulate measurement results on the poro-elastic parameters and to examine the dependence of the parameters on confining pressure. As a result, some dependency of the poro-elastic parameters on confining pressure was observed. Among the measured or calculated poro-elastic parameters, the drained bulk modulus increased, while the Skempton's pressure coefficient, and the Biot-Wills coefficient in the elastic region decreased with the increase in confining pressure. The measurement results also inferred that the foliation observed in the rock specimens might impact a degree of dependency of those parameters on confining pressure.

JAEA Reports

Synthesis report on the R&D for the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory; Project carried out during fiscal years 2015-2019

Nakayama, Masashi; Saiga, Atsushi; Kimura, Shun; Mochizuki, Akihito; Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Ono, Hirokazu; Miyakawa, Kazuya; Takeda, Masaki; Hayano, Akira; Matsuoka, Toshiyuki; et al.

JAEA-Research 2019-013, 276 Pages, 2020/03


The Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Project is being pursued by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) to enhance the reliability of relevant disposal technologies for geological disposal of High-level Radioactive Waste through investigations of the deep geological environment within the host sedimentary rock at Horonobe Town in Hokkaido, north Japan. The investigations will be conducted in three phases, namely "Phase 1: Surface based investigations", "Phase 2: Construction phase" (investigations during construction of the underground facilities) and "Phase 3: Operation phase" (research in the underground facilities). According to the research plan described in the 3rd Mid- and Long- term Plan of JAEA, "Near-field performance study", "Demonstration of repository design option", and "Verification of crustal-movement buffering capacity of sedimentary rocks" are important issues of the Horonobe URL Project, and schedule of future research and backfill plans of the project will be decided by the end of 2019 Fiscal Year. The present report summarizes the research and development activities of these 3 important issues carried out during 3rd Medium to Long-term Research Phase.

JAEA Reports

Visualization of fractures in an excavation damaged zone in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, 2 (Joint research)

Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Chen, Y.*; Ishii, Eiichi; Sakurai, Akitaka; Miyara, Nobukatsu; Ishida, Tsuyoshi*

JAEA-Research 2019-011, 50 Pages, 2020/03


In this research, we performed the resin injection experiment at the 350 m Gallery of Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory in order to identify the distribution of fractures induced around the gallery owing to excavation. We also observed the rock cores obtained around the resin injection borehole under ultraviolet light. As a result, the extent of the development of EDZ fracture was 0.9 m from the gallery wall. In the depth within 0.4 m from the gallery wall, the density of the EDZ fracture is higher than the depth more than 0.4 m from the gallery wall. As a result of the analysis on the fracture aperture by image processing, the fractures with a large aperture (1.02 mm in maximum) were observed within 0.3 m from the gallery wall, while the maximum aperture was 0.19 mm in the depth more than 0.3 m from the gallery wall.

JAEA Reports

Hydraulic tests for the excavation damaged zone around the 350m niches in the Horonobe Underground Research Project, 2

Samata, Yoichi; Ishii, Eiichi

JAEA-Data/Code 2019-020, 69 Pages, 2020/03


In Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project, hydraulic tests for the excavation damaged zone have been performed in order to characterize the hydrological properties of the zone. This report summarized the results of the hydraulic tests and pore-pressure monitoring which have been done from April 2016 to March 2019.

Journal Articles

Mudstone redox conditions at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Hokkaido, Japan; Effects of drift excavation

Mochizuki, Akihito; Ishii, Eiichi; Miyakawa, Kazuya; Sasamoto, Hiroshi

Engineering Geology, 267, p.105496_1 - 105496_11, 2020/03

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:32.13(Engineering, Geological)

The mechanical and hydraulic properties of rocks around mine drifts change significantly during the construction and operation of a radioactive-waste repository, with air intrusion causing the oxidation of rock and groundwater in excavation-damaged zones (EDZ). Redox conditions in such zones associated with niches excavated in mudstone at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL), which is believed to be generally representative of conditions that could exist in the EDZ of a repository, were studied with the aim of improving our understanding of factors that control redox conditions in such rock-groundwater systems. Groundwater Eh values around the niches have reducing values of less than -150 mV. The SO$$_{4}$$$$^{2-}$$ concentration, regarded as an oxidation indicator, is consistently as low as 1 $$mu$$mol L$$^{-1}$$. Gas occupies more than 50% of zone volumes, including CH$$_{4}$$ and CO$$_{2}$$ with traces of N$$_{2}$$ and O$$_{2}$$. Cores drilled from host rock around a URL gallery were analyzed, with no pyrite dissolution or precipitation of calcium sulfates being found. It is concluded that oxidizing conditions do not exist in the excavation-damaged zones, which is attributed to the suppression of air intrusion by the release of CH$$_{4}$$ and CO$$_{2}$$ from groundwater as pressures decreased and their accumulation in fractures. The modeling of oxygen diffusion into host rock further indicates that a reducing environment is maintained around the URL drifts.

Journal Articles

Visualization of fractures induced around the gallery wall in Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory

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

Proceedings of 5th ISRM Young Scholars' Symposium on Rock Mechanics and International Symposium on Rock Engineering for Innovative Future (YSRM 2019 and REIF 2019) (USB Flash Drive), 6 Pages, 2019/12

In the excavation of a repository for high-level radioactive waste (HLW) disposal, it is important to understand the hydro-mechanical characteristics of the Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) induced around the gallery because EDZ can lead to the migration pathway of radionuclides. Thus, we performed the resin injection experiment at the 350 m gallery of Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory in Japan to investigate the characteristics of fractures induced around the gallery wall in excavation. In the experiment, we developed a low viscosity resin mixed with a fluorescent substance and injected to the borehole drilled about 1 m in length. After the experiment, we overcored around the injection borehole. The observation on the cut surface of the overcore under ultraviolet light revealed that the fractures were distributed within 0.8 m from the gallery wall. Fractures are interconnected each other in particular within 0.25 m from the niche wall. Furthermore, fractures with large aperture (about 1.0 mm) were developed in that region. These observed results will be fundamental information for understanding of the fracturing process in the EDZ.

JAEA Reports

Hydraulic tests using borehole PB-V01 in the Horonobe Underground Research Project

Samata, Yoichi; Iwata, Tatsuya*; Ishii, Eiichi

JAEA-Data/Code 2019-008, 19 Pages, 2019/09


In Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project, hydraulic tests for the excavation damaged zone have been performed in order to characterize the hydrological properties of the zone. In PB-V01 borehole, pore pressure observation started in October 2008, but the pore pressure is currently reduced by about 3 MPa compared to that time. In this report, in order to evaluate the influence that this pore pressure drop has on the permeability of the rock, the results of the in-situ permeability test using the long-term hydraulic pressure monitoring device installed in the same hole are summarized.

Journal Articles

Protolith identification of bedding-parallel, smectite-bearing shear zones in argillaceous and siliceous marine sediments; Discriminating between tephra-derived shear zones and host-rock-derived fault gouges

Ishii, Eiichi

Engineering Geology, 259, p.105203_1 - 105203_9, 2019/09

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:0.01(Engineering, Geological)

Smectite-bearing shear zones are crucial in a variety of geoscientific and geoengineering fields due to the unique physicochemical properties of smectite. Although such shear zones worldwide occur in marine argillaceous/siliceous sediments, tephra-derived and host rock-derived are possible as their origin, and these shear zones potentially differ in amount of smectite, extent of the spatial distribution, and time of the formation. Nevertheless, it is hard to discriminate these origins by observation. This paper proposes a method utilizing the following two indicators for the discrimination: one is a proportion ratio of smectite to illite, sm/(ill+sm), in the clay fractions of the samples; the other is a concentration ratio of conservative elements, Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$/TiO$$_{2}$$ (wt%/wt%), in bulk chemistry of the samples. Although high sm/(ill+sm) values can be an evidence indicating tephra-derived origin, the values may decrease by mineralogical disturbance/alteration during shear deformation, which make the discrimination difficult. The Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$/TiO$$_{2}$$ values different from those of the host rock can also be an evidence of tephra-derived origin, based on previous studies, and the measurement error is also very small, compared to the analytical error of sm/(ill+sm). But the Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$/TiO$$_{2}$$ values of shear zones may intrinsically be the same as those of the host rock even if those shear zones were derived from tephra layers. Application of these indicators to the protolith identification of bedding-parallel clay-rich shear zones in a folded siliceous mudstone (Hokkaido, Japan) demonstrates that combining sm/(ill+sm) and Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$/TiO$$_{2}$$ is useful as a first diagnosis to identify the protolith more easily and more confidently.

Journal Articles

Optimum temperature for HIP bonding invar alloy and stainless steel

Wakui, Takashi; Ishii, Hideaki*; Naoe, Takashi; Kogawa, Hiroyuki; Haga, Katsuhiro; Wakai, Eiichi; Takada, Hiroshi; Futakawa, Masatoshi

Materials Transactions, 60(6), p.1026 - 1033, 2019/06

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:14.37(Materials Science, Multidisciplinary)

The mercury target has large size as 1.3$$times$$1.3$$times$$2.5 m$$^{3}$$. In view of reducing the amount of wastes, we studied the structure so that the fore part could be separated. The flange is required to have high seal performance less than 1$$times$$10$$^{-6}$$ Pa m$$^{3}$$/s. Invar with low thermal expansion is a candidate. Due to its low stiffness, however, the flange may deform when it is fastened by bolts. Practically invar is reinforced with stainless steel where all interface between them has to be bonded completely with the HIP bonding. In this study, we made specimens at four temperatures and conducted tensile tests. The specimen bonded at 973 K had little diffusion layer, and so fractured at the interface. The tensile strength reduced with increasing the temperature, and the reduced amount was about 10% at 1473 K. The analyzed residual stresses near the interface increased by 50% at maximum. Then, we concluded that the optimum temperature was 1173 K.

JAEA Reports

Separation of radiocaesium-bearing micro particle from environmental samples; Application to litter samples

Tagomori, Hisaya; Dohi, Terumi; Ishii, Yasuo; Kanaizuka, Seiichi*; Fujiwara, Kenso; Iijima, Kazuki

JAEA-Technology 2019-001, 37 Pages, 2019/03


An efficient methodology for separating the radiocaesium-bearing micro particles (CsMPs) released by the TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station accident is required to investigate their spatial distribution and physicochemical properties. In this report we developed an efficiency separation method for CsMP from litters since the radiocaesium in litter may affect the radiocaesium cycling in forest ecosystem. One CsMP separation from litter containing lots of soil particles was attained within three days using electron microscopic analysis with digestion treatment of organic matter. This methodology is expected as CsMPs efficient separation method for not only forest floor litter but also barks and leaves of living tree, and other organic materials in the forested environment.

JAEA Reports

Hydraulic tests for the excavation damaged zone around the 350m niches in the Horonobe Underground Research Project

Yoshino, Hiromitsu*; Samata, Yoichi; Niunoya, Sumio*; Ishii, Eiichi

JAEA-Data/Code 2018-015, 169 Pages, 2019/02


In Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project, hydraulic tests for the excavation damaged zone have been performed in order to characterize the hydrological properties of the zone. This report summarized the results of the hydraulic tests and pore-pressure monitoring which have been done by March 2016.

Journal Articles

A Method for estimating the highest potential hydraulic conductivity in the excavation damaged zone in mudstone

Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Ishii, Eiichi

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 52(2), p.385 - 401, 2019/02

 Times Cited Count:4 Percentile:52.58(Engineering, Geological)

Excavation of deep underground openings induces permeable fractures around the opening due to stress redistribution. Such a zone is called excavation damaged zone (EDZ). In a high-level radioactive waste disposal project, the EDZ might provide pathways for the migration of radionuclides around the facility. Thus, this study focused on the development of a method for estimating the highest potential hydraulic conductivity in the EDZ around a gallery in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Japan. Borehole televiewer surveys, rock core observations, and hydraulic tests were undertaken to investigate the extent and magnitude of hydraulic conductivity in the EDZ around the gallery. The observed extent of the EDZ shows good agreement with the EDZ estimated from hydro-mechanical coupling analysis. The measured hydraulic conductivities of the EDZ are within the range of those based on the Mean Stress Index (MSI), which is defined as the ratio of the effective mean stress derived from numerical analyses to the tensile strength of intact rock. Given that the rock mass is relatively homogeneous and artificial damage (e.g., blasting-induced damage) can be neglected, as in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, the MSI model is likely to be applicable in estimating the highest potential hydraulic conductivity in the EDZ.

Journal Articles

Evolution of the excavation damaged zone around a modelled disposal pit; Case study at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Japan

Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Miyara, Nobukatsu; Ishii, Eiichi; Nakayama, Masashi; Kimura, Shun

Proceedings of 13th SEGJ International Symposium (USB Flash Drive), 5 Pages, 2018/11

The construction of underground facilities induces fractures in the rock mass around the underground voids due to the resultant stress redistribution. This has particular implications for high-level radioactive waste (HLW) disposal projects, where fracture development creates an excavation damaged zone (EDZ) that increases the hydraulic conductivity of the surrounding rock mass and can provide a pathway for the migration of radionuclides from the storage facilities. It is therefore important to understand the long-term evolution of the EDZ and perform a comprehensive HLW disposal risk assessment. An in situ engineered barrier system experiment was conducted in the 350 m gallery at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory, Japan, to observe the near-field coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical (THMC) process in situ and validate coupled THMC models. Here we investigate the evolution of the EDZ around the gallery and model a test pit that was excavated below the floor of the gallery using a series of seismic tomography surveys. There was a significant decrease in the seismic velocity field around the test pit due to its excavation, which became slightly more pronounced over time after the excavation. These seismic results, coupled with hydraulic tests and pore pressure measurements around the pit, indicate that fracture development and the decrease in saturation around the test pit resulted in a decrease in the seismic velocity field after the excavation of the test pit. Furthermore, the increase in saturation around the test pit is a key reason for the increase in the seismic velocity field after the heater test.

Journal Articles

Evaluating test conditions for in situ tracer migration test in fractured siliceous mudstone involving groundwater with dissolved gas

Takeda, Masaki; Ishii, Eiichi; Ono, Hirokazu; Kawate, Satoshi*

Genshiryoku Bakkuendo Kenkyu (CD-ROM), 25(1), p.3 - 14, 2018/06

Fault zones and excavation damaged zones have the potential to act as flow paths, and the characterization of solute transport in such zones in mudstones is important for the safe geological disposal of radioactive waste. However, few in situ tracer migration tests have been conducted on fractures in mudstones. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has conducted in situ tracer migration experiments using uranine, for fractures in siliceous mudstone of the Wakkanai Formation. 18 experiments were conducted under various conditions An injection flow rate that is slightly higher than the pumping flow rate is ideal for tracer migration experiments involving injection and pumping, as conducted in this study. In situ tracer migration experiments involving injection and pumping conducted in a groundwater environment with dissolved gases allow empirical evaluation of the relationship of the tracer recovery ratio and the groundwater degassing with the injection and pumping flow rate ratio. This evaluation is effective for the design of experimental conditions that account for degassing and ensure high levels of tracer recovery.

Journal Articles

Assessment of hydraulic connectivity of fractures in mudstones by single-borehole investigations

Ishii, Eiichi

Water Resources Research, 54(5), p.3335 - 3356, 2018/05

 Times Cited Count:3 Percentile:20.43(Environmental Sciences)

Assessing the hydraulic connectivity of fractures by single-borehole investigations is crucial to radioactive waste disposal, but is still a challenge as such connectivity is difficult to measure directly. This study presents geological, hydrological, hydrochemical, and rock mechanical data for three faulted/fractured mudstones (the Koetoi, Wakkanai, and Palfris formations) and proposes a new methodology for assessing the hydraulic connectivity of fractures.

Journal Articles

Temporal trend in excavation disturbed zone around a modeled disposal pit in Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory

Aoyagi, Kazuhei; Miyara, Nobukatsu; Ishii, Eiichi; Matsuzaki, Yoshiteru

Shigen, Sozai Koenshu (Internet), 5(1), 7 Pages, 2018/03

no abstracts in English

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