Thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes in fractured rocks are important to understand for many geotechnical applications such as radioactive waste deposition, geothermal reservoir engineering, and CO2 storage. In this short paper we provide a brief literature discussion of classic and new books and topical issues about THMC processes in geologic media.
More than 20 years passed by since one of the first publications dealing with coupled processes in fractured rocks appeared (Noorishad et al. 1992). Since then a vast of work was spent to this topic in both experimental and modeling efforts. The first comprehensive book "CoupledThermo-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical Processes in Geo-Systems" by Stephansson et al. (2004)was published beginning of the new millennium by the pioneers in this discipline (Figure right).
THMC research is very much related to the DECOVALEX initiative which has been launched in 1992 and is now in its 6th phase. DECOVALEX is dedicated to improve modeling concepts in order to expand our knowledge about thermo-hydro mechanical- chemical coupled processes in subsurface systems. Results of this joint effort have been continuously published in the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences and SKI reports (Jing et al. 1995) and Environmental Geology (Tsang et al. 2009) in review. BTW: This publication made me (i.e. the corresponding author) thinking to become an editor of Environmental Geology – I am serving now since five years. Searching the Web-of-Knowledge provides 43 ISI publications on DECOVALEX (accessed on 21.03.2013) showing the deep scientific impact of this community project so far.
All models are useless if they are not related to experimental work and data. Experiments dealing with THMC processes are still very challenging. As an example Feng et al. (2004, 2009) conducted experiments to characterize fracturing and damage processes due to chemical corrosion. Understanding of those chemo-mechanical processes is very important for long-term deposition of nuclear waste. THMC processes are relevant to several geological systems such as crystalline, clay and salt rocks (Wallner et al. 2007).