Thermo-hydro-mechanical processes in fractured rock formations during a glacial advance
Abstract. The paper examines the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) processes that develop in a fractured rock region within a fluid-saturated rock mass due to loads imposed by an advancing glacier. This scenario needs to be examined in order to assess the suitability of potential sites for the location of deep geologic repositories for the storage of high-level nuclear waste. The THM processes are examined using a computational multiphysics approach that takes into account thermo-poroelasticity of the intact geological formation and the presence of a system of sessile but hydraulically interacting fractures (fracture zones). The modelling considers coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical effects in both the intact rock and the fracture zones due to contact normal stresses and fluid pressure at the base of the advancing glacier. Computational modelling provides an assessment of the role of fractures in modifying the pore pressure generation within the entire rock mass.