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Research - Dept. of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems

Numerical investigation of flow and transport in fractured porous media
Project manager:Rainer Helmig
Research assistants:Alexandru Tatomir
Duration:1.4.2008 - 31.3.2011
Funding:Federal Ministry of Education and Research - IPSWaT

This project is part of the research area:
Modelling of flow and transport processes in fractured media

Publications: Link


The comprehension and the physically correct description of the wetting-front behavior and moisture distribution in the saturated and unsaturated zone of fractured porous rocks are of a fundamental significance regarding several hydro-geological and geotechnical problems, such as the adequate assessment of water resources, contaminant migration in the vadose zone, drainage of water into underground openings, or slope stability. The main targets are to improve the understanding of the development as well as the spatial and temporal behavior of moisture distributions in fractured rocks and furthermore to enable a near-natural description of the process behavior. Of absolute necessity is an intensive cooperation between field and numerical work, also incorporating investigations on different scales, in order to achieve and complete the description of the complex, dynamic, scale-dependent and parameter-intensive system of above mentioned propagation and distribution processes i.e. multiphase flow in fractured porous media, as well as to allow for the prediction of future system states. The evaluation and advancement of theories and methods for the description and prediction of the wetting-front behavior in fractured rocks for a wide scale range will be allowed by the field applicative data. This is prerequisite for the development and evaluation of different predictive modeling tools. Numerical simulations will allow for the identification of parameters and processes controlling the spatial and temporal behavior of moisture distribution and wetting fronts.