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Numerical and experimental investigation of buoyancy-driven dissolution in vertical fracture

Abstract : Alteration and dissolution resulting from reactive fluid flows in vertical fracture are investigated from numerical and laboratory experiments. Due to fluid density contrast, buoyancy effects are observed leading to significant changes in fracture geometry. Buoyant and forced convection forces act here in the same direction. The experiments were carried out at two different flow rates. When buoyancy forces are preponderant (low injection flow rate), the dissolution rate increases with the vertical distance. By contrast, for convection-dominated transport (high injection flow rate), a uniform dissolution is observed. Using numerical simulations, four dissolution regimes were identified. The fracture patterns observed strongly depend on the characteristic dimensionless numbers of the process, respectively, the Richardson, Damköhler, and Péclet numbers. The good agreement between numerical simulations and experimental results in terms of fracture patterns highlights the capability of the numerical model to describe the complex coupling between flow dynamics, buoyancy, and chemical reaction. Finally, a 3-D behavior diagram is constructed to illustrate these interactions and as a means of relating the appropriate dimensionless parameters to the morphological changes observed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 4:07:03 PM
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C. Oltean, F. Golfier, M. A. Bues. Numerical and experimental investigation of buoyancy-driven dissolution in vertical fracture. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2013, 118 (5), pp.2038-2048. ⟨10.1002/jgrb.50188⟩. ⟨hal-01303035⟩

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