Small-Scale Behavior of Single Gravity-Driven Fingers in an Initially Dry Fracture

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by M. J. Nicholl, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
R. J. Glass, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
H. A. Nguyen, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993

Abstract: Experiments investigating the behavior of individual, gravity-driven fingers in an initially dry, rough-walled analog fracture are presented. Fingers were initiated from constant flow to a point source. Finger structure is described in detail; specific phenomena observed include: desaturation behind the finger-tip, variation in finger path, intermittent flow structures, finger-tip bifurcation, and formation of dendritic sub-fingers. Measurements were made of finger-tip velocity, finger width, and finger-tip length. Non-dimensional forms of the measured variables are analyzed relative to the independent parameters, flow rate and gravitational gradient.

Subject Headings: Cracking | Flow measurement | Fluid flow | Groundwater flow | Analogs | Bifurcations | Parameters (statistics) | Flow rates |

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