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SKB Task Force GWFTS: Increasing the Realism of Solute Transport Modelling in Fractured Media
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  • Björn Gylling,
  • Paolo Trinchero,
  • Josep Soler Matamala,
  • Kersti Nilsson,
  • George Lanyon,
  • Jan-Olof Selroos,
  • Antti Poteri,
  • Lasse Koskinen
Björn Gylling
Gylling GeoSolutions

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Paolo Trinchero
Amphos 21
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Josep Soler Matamala
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Kersti Nilsson
Geosigma AB
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George Lanyon
Fracture Systems Ltd.
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Jan-Olof Selroos
Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB)
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Antti Poteri
Posiva Oy
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Lasse Koskinen
Posiva Oy
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SKB and several other waste management organisations have established the international SKB Task Force on Modelling of Groundwater Flow and Transport of Solutes (TF GWFTS) to support and interpret field experiments. An important objective of the task force is to develop, test and improve tools for conceptual understanding and simulating groundwater flow and transport of solutes in fractured rocks. Work is organised in collaborative modelling tasks. This study considers Task 9, which focuses on realistic modelling of coupled matrix diffusion and sorption in heterogeneous crystalline rock matrix at depth. This is done by inverse and predictive modelling of different in-situ transport experiments. The ultimate aim is to develop models that in a more realistic way represent retention in fractured rock. The Long-Term Diffusion and Sorption Experiment (LTDE-SD) was an in-situ radionuclide tracer test performed at the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory at a depth of about 410 m below sea level. It is one of few recent in-situ studies focusing on tracer transport in the stagnant pore water of the crystalline rock matrix. The experimental results indicated a possible deeper penetration of tracers into the rock matrix than expected and the shape of the penetration profiles were not according to theory. Posiva’s REPRO (rock matrix REtention PROperties) experimental programme has been performed at the ONKALO rock characterisation facility in Finland. The two REPRO experiments considered were the Water Phase Diffusion Experiment, addressing matrix diffusion in gneiss around a single borehole interval, and the Through Diffusion Experiment, which is performed between sections of three boreholes. These three experiments provided an opportunity to improve the conceptual understanding of solute transport in fractured rock and to increase the realism in solute transport modelling, with the ultimate goal of improving safety assessments of deep geological disposal for nuclear waste. Of additional interest is the collective work performed by the task force to conceptually understand and interpret the field experiments, and at the same time increase the realism in solute transport modelling. This study would not have been possible without the support from the waste management organisations and the work by the multiple modelling teams.