Influence of Pressure Change During Hydraulic Tests on Fracture Aperture


Corresponding author: Radwaste Disposal Technology Development Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon, Republic of Korea; +82-42-868-4920; fax: +82-42-868-2064;


In a series of field experiments, we evaluate the influence of a small water pressure change on fracture aperture during a hydraulic test. An experimental borehole is instrumented at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) Underground Research Tunnel (KURT). The target fracture for testing was found from the analyses of borehole logging and hydraulic tests. A double packer system was developed and installed in the test borehole to directly observe the aperture change due to water pressure change. Using this packer system, both aperture and flow rate are directly observed under various water pressures. Results indicate a slight change in fracture hydraulic head leads to an observable change in aperture. This suggests that aperture change should be considered when analyzing hydraulic test data from a sparsely fractured rock aquifer.