Abstract: Fluid flow through a fracture or fracture network is controlled by the geometry of the network and by the distribution of voids within each fracture. The critical path, i.e., the path of largest apertures across a fracture, dominates the flow of fluid through the fracture. We have directly quantified the importance of the critical path by using Wood's metal porosimetry and methane flow rate measurements. Filling the critical path with Wood's metal reduced flow rates through the fracture by 70% to 98%. X-ray tomographic scanning and photomicroscopy are used to visualize the void spaces in the fracture.
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The Effect of the Critical Path on Fluid Flow Through a Fracture
Paper presented at the 1st North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, Austin, Texas, June 1994.
Paper Number: ARMA-1994-0081
Published: June 01 1994
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Pyrak-Nolte, Laura J., and Carlo D. Montemagno. "The Effect of the Critical Path on Fluid Flow Through a Fracture." Paper presented at the 1st North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, Austin, Texas, June 1994.
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