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Modelling the Mont Terri HE-D experiment for the Thermal–Hydraulic–Mechanical response of a bedded argillaceous formation to heating

  • Author(s): Garitte, B
  • Nguyen, TS
  • Barnichon, JD
  • Graupner, BJ
  • Lee, C
  • Maekawa, K
  • Manepally, C
  • Ofoegbu, G
  • Dasgupta, B
  • Fedors, R
  • Pan, PZ
  • Feng, XT
  • Rutqvist, J
  • Chen, F
  • Birkholzer, J
  • Wang, Q
  • Kolditz, O
  • Shao, H
  • et al.

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Coupled thermal–hydrological–mechanical (THM) processes in the near field of deep geological repositories can influence several safety features of the engineered and geological barriers. Among those features are: the possibility of damage in the host rock, the time for re-saturation of the bentonite, and the perturbations in the hydraulic regime in both the rock and engineered seals. Within the international cooperative code-validation project DECOVALEX-2015, eight research teams developed models to simulate an in situ heater experiment, called HE-D, in Opalinus Clay at the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory in Switzerland. The models were developed from the theory of poroelasticity in order to simulate the coupled THM processes that prevailed during the experiment and thereby to characterize the in situ THM properties of Opalinus Clay. The modelling results for the evolution of temperature, pore water pressure, and deformation at different points are consistent among the research teams and compare favourably with the experimental data in terms of trends and absolute values. The models were able to reproduce the main physical processes of the experiment. In particular, most teams simulated temperature and thermally induced pore water pressure well, including spatial variations caused by inherent anisotropy due to bedding.

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