Simulation of Heat Transfer in the Unsaturated Zone

by George Zyvoloski, Los Alamos Natl Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


It is well known that heat transfer can play an important roll in fluid flow near the emplacement site of high-level nuclear waste (K. Pruess and J.S.W. Wang, 1987). Heat transfer effects on far-field flow have received much less attention. The effects, though less dramatic than near-field effects, nevertheless can be important in understanding net moisture fluxes above the repository zone. Weeks (1987) described two wells at the Yucca Mountain site that produce air at high flow rates in winter. It was postulated that convection in the unsaturated zone was responsible for this movement. If this is so, then the convection could provide a mechanism for drying the rock above the repository zone and thus provide a buffer for heavy rainfall events.

Subject Headings: Heat transfer | Heat flow | Radioactive wastes | Fluid flow | Flow simulation | Waste disposal | Wells (water) | Moisture

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