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EPSRC Reference: GR/M89737/01
Title: SEDIMENT FILLED FRACTURES IN TRIASSIC SANDSTONES - PATHWAYS OR BARRIERS TO CONTAMINANT MIGRATION?
Principal Investigator: Williams, Professor GM
Other Investigators:
Milodowski, Mr AE Tellam, Professor J. H. Lerner, Professor DN
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Environment Agency (Grouped) Environmental Simulations ICI
Ricardo Group
Department: Fluid Processes Group
Organisation: NERC Grouped
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 03 January 2000 Ends: 02 October 2003 Value (£): 254,419
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Assess/Remediate Contamination
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Sediment-filled fractures in hand-dug tunnels in Triassic Sandstones at Runcorn show that the accepted representation of fractures as open high permeability planes is not valid. The work will determine the nature, extent and genesis of fracture fills in Triassic Sandstones by a regional survey, and mineralogical/petrographic studies, so that the occurrence and type of fracture filling can be predicted elsewhere based on knowledge of the past geological environment. Field techniques will be developed to identify, recover and characterise fracture fills above and below the water table in boreholes. This will involve state-of-the-art geophysical techniques such as seismic, resistivity and induced polarisation tomography, and the use of intelligent colloid tracers which are strained by sediments infilling fractures relative to dissolved conservative tracers. Sorbing tracers will also discriminate clay minerals in the fracture fill. Fundamental changes in representing fractures in groundwater flow and contaminant transport models will include the spectrum of situations from open fractures which are highly permeable relative to the matrix, to situations where fracture are impermeable relative to the matrix and where they act as barriers. Within these extremes the models will help identify those field situations appropriate to different models and help focus site characterisation on critical parameters.
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