A solution around a backfilled cavity in a low-permeability poroelastic medium with application in in situ heating tests

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Thermo-hydro-mechanical responses around a cylindrical cavity drilled or excavated in a low-permeability formation are studied when the cavity is subjected to a time-dependent thermal loading. The cavity is considered
backfilled after it is supported by casing or lining. Solutions of temperature, pore water pressure, stress, and displacement responses are analytically formulated based on Biot’s consolidation theory with the assumption that the backfilling material, supporting material, and surrounding low-permeability formation are poroelastic media. The solution is expressed in Laplace space, and numerical inversion techniques are used to find field variables in the real-time domain. After the solution is verified with the numerical results,
it is applied in a large-scale in situ heating test – PRACLAY heating test – for a predictive reference calculation and an extensive parametric study. Another medium-scale in situ heating test – ATLAS III heating test – is also analyzed using the solution, which provides reasonable agreement with measurements.
The new analytical solution proves to be a convenient tool for a good understanding of the resulting coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behavior and is therefore valuable for the interpretation of measured data in engineering
practices and for a rational design of potential radioactive waste repositories.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-29
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2016


  • hermo-hydro-mechanical; Boom Clay, poroelastic, analytical solution, geological disposal, PRACLAY heating test, ATLAS III heating test, Boom clay

ID: 1900335