This paper presents thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) analyses simulating the Drift Scale Test (DST) performed at Yucca Mountain. A double structure approach based on two superimposed domains is adopted. Intrinsic permeability changes with deformations imply full THM coupling. Temperatures and gas permeabilities were measured during 4 years and are used to validate the model. Measured gas permeability variations show patterns that are successfully explained by the model calculations. These gas permeability variations may be attributed to thermo-hydraulic effects, and also to mechanical effects. Different cases of intrinsic permeability variations have been considered in the model and their influence on the calculated temperatures, degree of saturations and gas permeabilities are presented. Volumetric deformation, in contraction or dilatancy, implies changes in the aperture of rock fractures that in turn lead to changes in intrinsic permeability. Dilatancy, caused by shear stresses, increases intrinsic permeability. Consideration of this factor contributes significantly to improve the agreement of calculated gas permeability with the measured values obtained during the DST experiment.

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Published on 01/01/2005

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2005.03.007
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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