Development of slender transport pathways in unsaturated fractured rock: Simulation with modified invasion percolation

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Abstract

[1] Slender transport pathways have been found in laboratory and field experiments within unsaturated fractured rock. Here we consider the simulation of such structures with a Modified form of Invasion Percolation (MIP). Results show that slender pathways form in fracture networks for a wide range of expected conditions, can be maintained when subsequent matrix imbibition is imposed, and may arise even in the context of primarily matrix flow due to the action of fractures as barriers to inter-matrix block transport.

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