Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.936 IF 4.936
  • IF 5-year value: 5.615 IF 5-year
    5.615
  • CiteScore value: 4.94 CiteScore
    4.94
  • SNIP value: 1.612 SNIP 1.612
  • IPP value: 4.70 IPP 4.70
  • SJR value: 2.134 SJR 2.134
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 107 Scimago H
    index 107
  • h5-index value: 63 h5-index 63
Volume 16, issue 8
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 2511–2522, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-2511-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 2511–2522, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-16-2511-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 06 Aug 2012

Research article | 06 Aug 2012

Bench scale laboratory tests to analyze non-linear flow in fractured media

C. Cherubini1,*, C. I. Giasi1, and N. Pastore1 C. Cherubini et al.
  • 1Sezione di Ingegneria Geotecnica e Geoambientale – DIAC, Politecnico di Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70100 Bari, Italy
  • *Invited contribution by C. Cherubini, recipient of the EGU Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award 2012.

Abstract. The knowledge of flow phenomena in fractured rocks is very important for groundwater resources management in hydrogeological engineering.

A critical emerging issue for fractured aquifers is the validity of the Darcian-type "local cubic law", which assumes a linear relationship between flow rate and pressure gradient to accurately describe flow patterns.

Experimental data obtained under controlled conditions such as in a laboratory increase our understanding of the fundamental physics of fracture flow and allow us to investigate the presence of non-linear flow inside fractures that generates a substantial deviation from Darcy's law.

In this study the presence of non-linear flow in a fractured rock formation has been analyzed at bench scale in laboratory tests. The effects of non-linearity in flow have been investigated by analyzing hydraulic tests on an artificially created fractured rock sample of parallelepiped (0.60 × 0.40 × 0.8 m) shape.

The volumes of water passing through different paths across the fractured sample for various hydraulic head differences have been measured, and the results of the experiments have been reported as specific flow rate vs. head gradient. The experimental results closely match the Forchheimer equation and describe a strong inertial regime. The results of the test have been interpreted by means of numerical simulations. For each pair of ports, several steady-state simulations have been carried out varying the hydraulic head difference between the inlet and outlet ports. The estimated linear and non-linear Forchheimer coefficients have been correlated to each other and respectively to the tortuosity of the flow paths. A correlation among the linear and non-linear Forchheimer coefficients is evident. Moreover, a tortuosity factor that influences flow dynamics has been determined.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation