Advances in Water–Rock Interactions and Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Processes

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 4070

Special Issue Editors

State Key Laboratory of Eco-Hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region of China, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048, China
Interests: rock mechanics; CO2-rock interactions; seepage theory; multi-field coupling; energy
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Guest Editor
School of Civil Engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University, Jinan 250101, China
Interests: geotechnical engineering; performance analysis of underground structures; pipe jacking; ground anchorage theory; waterproof material
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Guest Editor
School of Mechanics and Civil Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
Interests: rock mechanics; reservoir geomechanics; energy evolution; rockburst; underground engineering
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Guest Editor
Yancheng Institute of Technology, Yancheng, China
Interests: poromechanics of rock mass and disaster mechanism; coarse soil crushing and solid waste filling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water–rock interactions and coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) processes play a crucial role in processes such as groundwater formation, circulation, storage, and contamination propagation. These intricate processes involve the permeation, diffusion, and reactions of water within geological formations, while being influenced by temperature, fluid flow, and stress. Understanding these coupled interaction holds paramount importance in various fields, including groundwater resource management, geothermal energy utilization, rock engineering, and geological hazard assessment.

Within geological formations, water interacts with rocks through processes such as infiltration, diffusion, dissolution, precipitation, and mineral exchange, resulting in various geological phenomena. These processes significantly influence groundwater formation, erosion effects, and rock metamorphism. Furthermore, the impact of temperature, fluid flow, and stress on water–rock interactions further alters the permeability, diffusion characteristics, and reaction rates within geological formations, resulting in complex THM coupling effects.

Studying water–rock interactions and coupled THM processes provides invaluable insight into the transport behavior of groundwater, the physical and chemical properties of rocks, and the mechanisms underlying geological hazards. Through a comprehensive understanding of this intricate process, we can establish scientific foundations for rational groundwater resource development, the efficient utilization of geothermal energy, the safe design of rock engineering projects, and prevention and mitigation strategies for geological hazards.

As technology advances and innovative research methods emerge, we have the opportunity to unravel the mechanisms and laws governing water–rock interactions and coupled THM processes more comprehensively. This will help to provide more accurate and reliable scientific support for applications in the field of Earth sciences.

Dr. Yi Xue
Dr. Jianyong Han
Dr. Zhizhen Zhang
Prof. Dr. Hailing Kong
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • water–rock interactions
  • thermo-hydro-mechanical processes
  • groundwater formation and circulation
  • rock engineering
  • geothermal energy utilization
  • geological hazards

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 5872 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study of Pore Water Pressure in Frozen Soils during Moisture Migration
by Bicheng Zhou, Anatoly V. Brouchkov and Jiabo Hu
Water 2024, 16(5), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16050776 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Frost heaving in soils is a primary cause of engineering failures in cold regions. Although extensive experimental and numerical research has focused on the deformation caused by frost heaving, there is a notable lack of numerical investigations into the critical underlying factor: pore [...] Read more.
Frost heaving in soils is a primary cause of engineering failures in cold regions. Although extensive experimental and numerical research has focused on the deformation caused by frost heaving, there is a notable lack of numerical investigations into the critical underlying factor: pore water pressure. This study aimed to experimentally determine changes in soil water content over time at various depths during unidirectional freezing and to model this process using a coupled hydrothermal approach. The agreement between experimental water content outcomes and numerical predictions validates the numerical method’s applicability. Furthermore, by applying the Gibbs free energy equation, we derived a novel equation for calculating the pore water pressure in saturated frozen soil. Utilizing this equation, we developed a numerical model to simulate pore water pressure and water movement in frozen soil, accounting for scenarios with and without ice lens formation and quantifying unfrozen water migration from unfrozen to frozen zones over time. Our findings reveal that pore water pressure decreases as freezing depth increases, reaching near zero at the freezing front. Notably, the presence of an ice lens significantly amplifies pore water pressure—approximately tenfold—compared to scenarios without an ice lens, aligning with existing experimental data. The model also indicates that the cold-end temperature sets the maximum pore water pressure value in freezing soil, with superior performance to Konrad’s model at lower temperatures in the absence of ice lenses. Additionally, as freezing progresses, the rate of water flow from the unfrozen region to the freezing fringe exhibits a fluctuating decline. This study successfully establishes a numerical model for pore water pressure and water flow in frozen soil, confirms its validity through experimental comparison, and introduces an improved formula for pore water pressure calculation, offering a more accurate reflection of the real-world phenomena than previous formulations. Full article
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20 pages, 8683 KiB  
Article
Risk Assessment and Analysis of Rock Burst under High-Temperature Liquid Nitrogen Cooling
by Yuhe Cai, Yankun Ma, Teng Teng, Yi Xue, Linchao Wang, Zhengzheng Cao and Zhizhen Zhang
Water 2024, 16(4), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16040516 - 06 Feb 2024
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Rock burst, an important kind of geological disaster, often occurs in underground construction. Rock burst risk assessment, as an important part of engineering risk assessment, cannot be ignored. Liquid nitrogen fracturing is a new technology used in the geological, oil, and gas industries [...] Read more.
Rock burst, an important kind of geological disaster, often occurs in underground construction. Rock burst risk assessment, as an important part of engineering risk assessment, cannot be ignored. Liquid nitrogen fracturing is a new technology used in the geological, oil, and gas industries to enhance productivity. It involves injecting liquid nitrogen into reservoir rocks to induce fractures and increase permeability, effectively reducing rock burst occurrences and facilitating the flow of oil or gas toward the wellbore. The research on rock burst risk assessment technology is the basis of reducing rock burst geological disasters, which has important theoretical and practical significance. This article examines the temperature treatment of two types of rocks at 25 °C, 100 °C, 200 °C, 300 °C, and 400 °C, followed by immersion in a liquid nitrogen tank. The temperature difference between the liquid nitrogen and the rocks may trigger rock bursting. The research focused on analyzing various characteristics of rock samples when exposed to liquid nitrogen. This included studying the stress–strain curve, elastic modulus, strength, cross-section analysis, wave velocity, and other relevant aspects. Under the influence of high temperature and a liquid nitrogen jet, the wave velocity of rocks often changes. The structural characteristics and possible hidden dangers of rocks can be understood more comprehensively through section scanning analysis. The stress–strain curve describes the deformation and failure behavior of rocks under different stress levels, which can help to evaluate their stability and structural performance. The investigation specifically focused on the behavior of rocks subjected to high temperatures and liquid nitrogen. By analyzing the stress–strain curves, researchers were able to identify the precursors and deformation processes that occur before significant deformation or failure. These findings have implications for the mechanical properties and stability of the rocks. Full article
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18 pages, 5162 KiB  
Article
Confining Stress Response to Hydraulic Fracturing Volumetric Opening on the Representative Volume Element (RVE) Scale
by Shuaifang Guo, Yunxing Cao, Li Wang, Xinsheng Zhang, Wenying Zhang, Haixiao Lin, Zhengzheng Cao and Bingbing Meng
Water 2023, 15(23), 4184; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15234184 - 04 Dec 2023
Viewed by 792
Abstract
Confining stress response is considered an accompanying behavior of hydraulic fracturing. Along these lines, an evaluation model of confining stress response was presented in this work. It was established on a rock representative volume element (RVE) and based on the hydraulic volumetric opening [...] Read more.
Confining stress response is considered an accompanying behavior of hydraulic fracturing. Along these lines, an evaluation model of confining stress response was presented in this work. It was established on a rock representative volume element (RVE) and based on the hydraulic volumetric opening model, which stems from the theories of poroelasticity, breakdown damage, and hydraulic fracture mechanics. From the extracted outcomes, it was demonstrated that the confinement of the stress response depends on the matching among the characteristic parameters (εb,εs,m) of the rock breakdown, the volumetric opening, and channel flow regimes of the fracturing fluid. Examples in four limiting fracturing regimes show that (1) the confinement of the stress response is strongly determined by the existence of various fracturing regimes and takes place in a different manner during fracture initiation and opening. More specifically, during fracturing initiation, the ratio of the confining stress response to the far-field stress (Pcmax/σh) is 2.0500 in the M regime, 1.9600 in the M˜ regime, 2.7126 in the K regime, and 1.7448 in the K˜ regime, while when the fracture is opened, these values (PC/σh) are 1.8994, 1.8314, 1.6378, and 1.2846, respectively. (2) The impact of the confined stress response to the fluid pressure is also affected by the fracturing regimes; e.g., in both M and M˜ regimes, the peak confinement stress responses lag behind peak pore pressures, but in the K and K˜ regimes, lag off disappears. (3) The pore volumetric opening (Vpe) leads to an increase in the confining stress response, while the fracture opening (Vpd) leads to a reduction in the confining stress response. Full article
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20 pages, 4634 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Mode I Fracture Characteristics of Granite after Low Temperature Cooling with Liquid Nitrogen
by Linchao Wang, Yi Xue, Zhengzheng Cao, Hailing Kong, Jianyong Han and Zhizhen Zhang
Water 2023, 15(19), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15193442 - 30 Sep 2023
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Liquid nitrogen fracturing has emerged as a promising technique in fluid fracturing, providing significant advantages for the utilization and development of geothermal energy. Similarly to hydraulic fracturing in reservoirs, liquid nitrogen fracturing entails a common challenge of fluid–rock interaction, encompassing the permeation and [...] Read more.
Liquid nitrogen fracturing has emerged as a promising technique in fluid fracturing, providing significant advantages for the utilization and development of geothermal energy. Similarly to hydraulic fracturing in reservoirs, liquid nitrogen fracturing entails a common challenge of fluid–rock interaction, encompassing the permeation and diffusion processes of fluids within rock pores and fractures. Geomechanical analysis plays a crucial role in evaluating the transfer and diffusion capabilities of fluids within rocks, enabling the prediction of fracturing outcomes and fracture network development. This technique is particularly advantageous for facilitating heat exchange with hot dry rocks and inducing fractures within rock formations. The primary objective of this study is to examine the effects of liquid nitrogen fracturing on hot dry rocks, focusing specifically on granite specimens. The experimental design comprises two sets of granite samples to explore the impact of liquid nitrogen cooling cycles on the mode I fracture characteristics, acoustic emission features, and rock burst tendency of granite. By examining the mechanical properties, acoustic emission features, and rock burst tendencies under different cycling conditions, the effectiveness of liquid nitrogen fracturing technology is revealed. The results indicate that: (1) The ultimate load-bearing capacity of the samples gradually decreases with an increase in the number of cycling times. (2) The analysis of acoustic emission signals reveals a progressive increase in the cumulative energy of the samples with cycling times, indicating that cycling stimulates the release of stored energy within the samples. (3) After undergoing various cycling treatments, the granite surface becomes rougher, exhibiting increased porosity and notable mineral particle detachment. These results suggest that the cyclic application of high-temperature heating and liquid nitrogen cooling promotes the formation of internal fractures in granite. This phenomenon is believed to be influenced by the inherent heterogeneity and expansion–contraction of internal particles. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the morphological sections provides insights into the structural changes induced by liquid nitrogen fracturing in granite samples. Full article
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