Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Number of Pages



This thesis is titled "CONCEPTUAL MODELS OF FLOW IN FRACTURES". This thesis study has two parts. In the first part, some conceptual models of fluid flow in fractures will be developed. These models will be used to analyze fluid flow in the near field region of nuclear waste canisters emplaced in fractured rock. Fluid near the canister will evaporate and move into the fractures where it condenses on the walls of the fracture. It is then absorbed by the matrix due to the capillary suction. Then, due to the capillary force, the liquid moves towards the heat source. A region of liquid vapor flow is formed which is called the heat pipe region. The heat pipe phenomenon will be analyzed for different models of fractures. The capillary pressure function and relative permeability function which are functions of the liquid saturation will be developed. In the second part of the study, the functions developed from the conceptual model of the fracture will be incorporated into the TOUGH code and the near field examined. TOUGH is a multi-dimensional, numerical model for simulating the coupled transport of water, vapor, air and heat in porous and fractured media.


Conceptual; Flow; Fluid; Fractures; Models

Controlled Subject

Civil engineering; Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

3307.52 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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