0 Bewertungen0% fanden dieses Dokument nützlich (0 Abstimmungen)

1 Ansichten45 SeitenMar 18, 2019

TASK_3_Report_WIP_TBR.docx

© © All Rights Reserved

DOCX, PDF, TXT oder online auf Scribd lesen

© All Rights Reserved

Als DOCX, PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

0 Bewertungen0% fanden dieses Dokument nützlich (0 Abstimmungen)

1 Ansichten45 SeitenTASK_3_Report_WIP_TBR.docx

© All Rights Reserved

Als DOCX, PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

Sie sind auf Seite 1von 45

OPEN CUT MINING

TASK 3 Work Flow Evaluation – DRAFT

Version 0.50

7 February 2014,

Contributing Authors:

Thomas Booth, Ulrich Schott, Jeremy Dowling, Geoff Beale.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.1.1. SEEP/W ................................................................................................................................................ 3

1.1.2. SIGMA/W ............................................................................................................................................. 4

1.1.3. PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE .................................................................................................................... 15

1.2.1. Objectives & Scope ............................................................................................................................ 17

1.2.2. Model Setup ...................................................................................................................................... 18

1.2.3. Modeling Strategy ............................................................................................................................. 23

1.3.1. Objectives & Scope ............................................................................................................................ 25

1.3.2. Case Study Setup ............................................................................................................................... 25

1.3.3. Modeling Strategy ............................................................................................................................. 26

2.3.1. Relative Importance of the Hydraulic Conductivity (K) ...................................................................... 29

2.3.2. Relative Importance of the Specific Yield (Sy) .................................................................................... 29

2.3.3. Relative Importance of the Specific Storage (S s)................................................................................ 30

2.3.4. Relative Importance of the Young’s Modulus (E) .............................................................................. 30

2.3.5. Relative Importance of the Poisson’s Ratio () .................................................................................. 30

2.3.6. Relative Importance of the Skempton’s B Coefficient (B) .................................................................. 31

3.1.1. Location of the Observation Wells ..................................................................................................... 32

3.1.2. SEEP/W Results .................................................................................................................................. 32

3.1.3. SIGMA/W Results .............................................................................................................................. 36

Page 2 of 45

1. METHODOLOGY

1.1.1. SEEP/W

SEEP/W is a 2D finite element numerical model that solves the classic groundwater flow

equations of a saturated/unsaturated flow through a two dimensional plane. The present

chapter will describe in a concise manner the formulation used by SEEP/W, meantime a detailed

description can be found in SEEP/W’s manual (SEEP/W Engineering Methodology, 2009).

The classic groundwater flow equations are derived from two physical laws: Lavoisier’s mass

conservation law, and Darcy’s law. When these two laws are applied to a 2D differential

element, equation 1 can be obtained (SEEP/W Engineering Methodology, 2009), which relates

the temporal changes in volumetric water content with the groundwater flow given by Darcy’s

law and the applied boundary conditions.

𝜕 𝜕𝐻 𝜕 𝜕𝐻 𝜕𝜃𝑤

(𝑘𝑥 )+ (𝑘𝑦 )+𝑄 = (eqn 1)

𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑡

Where:

H = total head,

kx, ky = the hydraulic conductivities in x and y direction, respectively,

Q = the applied boundary flux,

w = the volumetric water content, and

t = time.

Since SEEP/W is formulated for conditions of constant total stress, as all classic groundwater

flow codes do, the changes in volumetric water content are considered only related to the

changes in pore water pressure, which is expressed in equation 2.

Where:

uw = pore water pressure, and

mw = the slope of the storage curve for the saturated and unsaturated part.

Page 3 of 45

Since the total head is directly related to the pore water pressure, equation 1 and 2 can be

rewritten into equation 3, which is the equation solved by SEEP/W during the numerical

simulations.

𝜕 𝜕𝐻 𝜕 𝜕𝐻 𝜕𝐻

(𝑘𝑥 )+ (𝑘𝑦 ) + 𝑄 = 𝑚𝑤 𝛾𝑤 (eqn 3)

𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑡

It’s important to understand that fully hydro-geomechanical coupled codes are far more

complex that classic groundwater flow codes, basically, because they consider the relationships

that exists between the total stress, the effective stress, the pore water pressure, the

deformation of the rock and the volumetric water content, and also because they usually relate

the hydraulic conductivity to the changes un effective stress or to the deformation to the

soil/rock.

1.1.2. SIGMA/W

SIGMA/W is a 2D finite element numerical model that solves the hydro-geomechanical coupled

problem for a saturated/unsaturated soil using a fully coupled approach, which means that both

the soil stress-deformation equation and the water flow equation are solved simultaneously

throughout the simulation period. In order to accomplish that, SIGMA/W’s numerical

formulation is derived in a coupled manner from scratch as it will be shown below. The present

chapter will describe the formulation of SIGMA/W’s hydro-geomechanical coupled code,

including some corrections to the formulation given by SIGMA/W’s manual (SIGMA/W

Engineering Methodology, 2013), and certain analysis that are considered fundamental to

understand how SIGMA/W actually works and which its limitations are. It is strongly suggested

to read and understand this chapter before attempting any simulation with SIGMA/W. It’s also

important to mention that SIGMA/W’s formulation is based on Biot’s poroelastic theory, which

will be partially explained throughout the chapter.

In order to describe the relationship between total stresses, pore water pressure and

deformation of the soil, SIGMA/W uses the incremental strain-stress relationship deduced by

Fredlung and Rahardjo (1993), presented by equation 4, which is analogous to the constitutive

equation deduced by Biot (1941). This equation is strictly valid for an unsaturated soil in a two

dimensional space, but it can be also used for the saturated condition.

Page 4 of 45

𝑢𝑎 − 𝑢𝑤

∆ (𝜀𝑥 − )

∆(𝜎𝑥 − 𝑢𝑎 ) 0 𝐻

1−𝜈 𝜈 𝜈 𝑢𝑎 − 𝑢𝑤

∆(𝜎𝑦 − 𝑢𝑎 ) 𝐸 0 ∆ (𝜀𝑦 − )

𝜈 1−𝜈 𝜈

= 0 𝐻 (eqn 4)

∆(𝜎𝑧 − 𝑢𝑎 ) (1 + 𝜈)(1 − 2𝜈) 𝜈 𝜈 1 − 𝜈 1 − 2𝜈 ∆ (𝜀 − 𝑢𝑎 − 𝑢𝑤 )

∆𝜏 0 0 0 𝑧

𝐻

{ 𝑥𝑦 } [ 2 ]

{ ∆𝛾𝑥𝑦 }

Where:

i = normal strain in direction i, being positive for contraction,

xy = engineering shear strain in the x-y plane,

i = total normal stress in direction i, being positive for compression,

xy = shear stress in the x-y plane,

ua = pore-air pressure,

uw = pore-water pressure,

E = elastic modulus for the soil/rock structure,

= Poisson’s ratio of the soil/rock structure, and

H = one of Biot’s parameter. Unsaturated soil modulus for the soil structure with

respect to the matrix suction (ua - uw).

It can be easily demonstrated (SIGMA/W Engineering Methodology, 2013), that for a fully

saturated linear-elastic material, and assuming incompressible water, H is given by equation 5

which is the value for H that SIGMA/W uses for all of its calculation, including the ones

associated to the unsaturated zone. SIGMA/W’s manual claims that using equation 5 for the

unsaturated condition is considered adequate for practical field problems, and presents a test

run which shows how well SIGMA/W performs (SIGMA/W Engineering Methodology, 2013).

𝐸

𝐻= (eqn 5)

1 − 2𝜈

Nevertheless, it can be easily demonstrated that if equation 5 is utilized for defining Biot’s

parameter H, equation 4 can be rewritten as equation 6, which is exactly similar to Terzaghi’s

effective stress law.

Page 5 of 45

0 ∆𝜀𝑥 ∆𝑢𝑤

1−𝜈 𝜈 𝜈 ∆𝜎𝑥

𝐸 0 ∆𝜀 ∆𝑢 ∆𝜎𝑦

𝜈 1−𝜈 𝜈 𝑦 𝑤

0 + = (eqn 6)

(1 + 𝜈)(1 − 2𝜈) 𝜈 𝜈 1 − 𝜈 1 − 2𝜈 ∆𝜀𝑧 ∆𝑢𝑤 ∆𝜎𝑧

0 0 {∆𝜏𝑥𝑦 }

[ 0 2 ] {∆𝛾𝑥𝑦 } { 0 }

Since Terzaghi’s effective stress law (’=-uw), doesn’t incorporate the parameter called

Biot’s alpha (’=-uw), it can be concluded that SIGMA/W’s formulation always considers

a Biot’s alpha of 1. The implications of this last assumption can’t be evaluated by the use of

SIGMA/W, and hence are unknown. Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to demonstrate that the

changes in pore water pressure due to changes in total stress increase with a decreasing value

of Biot’s alpha (uw/=1/for constantvolumetric strainv), which means that by using a

Biot’s alpha of 1, the conservative scenario is considered (i.e. the depressurization is not being

overestimated).

Going forward with SIGMA/W’s formulation, it’s important to understand that in equation 6, the

normal strains (i and the pore water pressure (uw) are the only unknown variables of the

hydro-geomechanical coupled part of the formulation, meantime the total normal stresses (i)

and shear stress (xy) are given by the strictly geomechanical part of the code and depend

basically on the weight of the material, the geomechanical parameters of the soil and the

applied geomechanical boundary conditions. In that sense, and for the purpose of

understanding how the hydro-geomechanical coupled part of the code works, it can be

considered that the total stress field is always known throughout the simulation period. The

additional equation needed to solve the mathematical problem is given by equation 7, which is

the two dimensional form of the groundwater flow equation used by SIGMA/W (corrected from

SIGMA/W Engineering Methodology, 2013):

𝑘𝑥 𝜕 2 𝑢𝑤 𝑘𝑦 𝜕 2 𝑢𝑤 𝜕𝜃𝑤

2

+ 2

+𝑄+ =0 (eqn 7)

𝛾𝑤 𝜕𝑥 𝛾𝑤 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑡

Where:

kx, ky = the hydraulic conductivities in x and y direction, respectively,

uw = pore water pressure,

w = the unit weight of water,

Q = the applied boundary flux,

w = the volumetric water content, and

t = time.

Page 6 of 45

In order to relate the change in volumetric water content to the change in volumetric strain and

pore water pressure, SIGMA/W uses the relationship deduced by Dakshanamurthy et al. (1984),

presented by equation 8, which is analogous to the one deduced by Biot (1942).

𝜃𝑤 = 𝛽𝜀𝑣 − 𝜔 𝑢𝑤 (eqn 8)

With:

𝐸 1

𝛽= (eqn 9)

𝐻 1 − 2𝜈

1 3𝛽

𝜔= − (eqn 10)

𝑅 𝐻

Where:

v = volumetric strain, and

R = a modulus relating the change in volumetric water content with change in

matric suction.

𝜀𝑣 = 𝜀𝑥 + 𝜀𝑦 + 𝜀𝑧 (eqn 11)

It can be easily demonstrated (SIGMA/W Engineering Methodology, 2013) that for the saturated

condition, and assuming incompressible water, must be equal to 1, and must be equal to 0,

which implies that for the saturated condition R is given by equation 12 (SIGMA/W Engineering

Methodology, 2013):

𝐸

𝑅𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 12)

3(1 − 2𝜈)

Since E/3(1-2) is equal to the Bulk modulus of the soil K, equation 12 can be rewritten as

equation 13:

Where:

K = the bulk modulus of the soil, which is a measure of the stiffness of the material.

Page 7 of 45

Meanwhile, for the unsaturated condition, R is given by the inverse of the slope of the user-

defined volumetric water content versus pore water pressure function, as shown in equation 14,

which is actually the real meaning of R. It’s important to remember that the slope of the

volumetric water content function in the unsaturated part of the curve varies with the matric

suction.

1

𝑅𝑢𝑛𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 14)

𝑚𝑣,𝑢𝑛𝑠𝑎𝑡

Where:

mv,unsat = Slope of the volumetric water content function in the unsaturated part of the

curve which depends on the matric suction uw.

It’s important to understand that for the saturated condition R should be also equal to the

inverse of the slope of the volumetric water content function in the saturated part of the curve,

which is actually equal to the specific storage divided by the unit weight of water. SIGMA/W

utilizes equation 13 because of the assumption that water is incompressible. As it will be

demonstrated below, the use of equation 13 might affect the calculations for certain

configurations, reason why SIGMA/W includes a parameter called Load Response Ratio, which

modifies equation 13. The definition of the Load Response Ratio and it’s real meaning will be

explained later on this chapter.

Since Rsat should be defined as the inverse of the slope of the volumetric water content function

in the saturated part of the curve, which is equal to the specific storage divided by the unit

weight of water, equation 15 can be written:

1

𝑅𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 15)

𝑆𝑠⁄

𝛾𝑤

Where:

Ss = Specific storage.

1

𝑅𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 16)

𝛼 + 𝑛𝛽

Page 8 of 45

Where:

= Compressibility of the soil,

= Water compressibility, and

n = Porosity.

Since the compressibility is equal to the inverse of the bulk modulus, equation 17 can be

written:

𝐾

𝑅𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 17)

𝐾

1+𝑛𝐾

𝑤

Where:

K = Bulk modulus of the soil,

Kw = Bulk modulus of water, and

n = porosity of the soil.

It can be easily demonstrated that the term (n K/Kw) might gain some importance for certain

scenarios, reason why SIGMA/W incorporates a parameter called Load Response Ratio, which

redefines the value of R as shown by equation 18.

Where:

LRR = the load response ratio, which should move between 0 and 1.

Finally, it can be easily demonstrated that for the saturated part of the domain, SIGMA/W ends

up using a value of the slope of the volumetric water content function given by equation 19. It’s

important to make clear that SIGMA/W doesn’t use the value of mv that is specified by the user

in the “Hydraulic Functions” menu.

1

𝑚𝑣,𝑠𝑎𝑡 = (eqn 19)

𝐿𝑅𝑅 ∙ 𝐾

The Load Response Ratio is extremely relevant in the context of the SIGMA/W formulation,

because it is the only parameter that defines which fraction of a change in total stress will be

Page 9 of 45

transferred into a change in pore water pressure for an undrained response, which happens

when the hydraulic conductivity and/or the bulk modulus of the soil are very low, or when the

excavation is imposed in a short period of time. As it will be demonstrated at the end of this

chapter, the Load Response Ratio is actually analogous to the Skempton’s B parameter, defined

by equation 20 (REFERENCE, YEAR), which is responsible of softening the changes in pore water

pressure due to changes in total stress for the undrained response. Furthermore, it will be also

demonstrated that the Load Response Ratio, the Skempton’s B parameter, the specific storage

and the bulk modulus of the soil are all parameters that have both a physical and a

mathematical relationship, which implies that the changes in pore water pressure due to

changes in total stress are in some extent soften by the elastic capacity of the soil to retain or

release water.

𝛿𝑢𝑤

𝐵= | (eqn 20)

𝛿𝜎 δ𝜃=0

Where:

= Skempton’s B parameter,

= the change in total stress, and

= the change in volumetric water content.

equation 10, a coupled hydro-geomechanical model is formulated, with normal strains and pore

water pressure as the only unknown variables, if we assume a known total stress field:

0 ∆𝜀𝑥 ∆𝑢𝑤

1−𝜈 𝜈 𝜈 ∆𝜎𝑥

𝐸 0 ∆𝜀 ∆𝑢 ∆𝜎

𝜈 1−𝜈 𝜈 𝑦 𝑤 𝑦

0 + = (eqn 21)

(1 + 𝜈)(1 − 2𝜈) 𝜈 𝜈 1 − 𝜈 1 − 2𝜈 ∆𝜀𝑧 ∆𝑢𝑤 ∆𝜎 𝑧

0 0 0 ∆𝜏

{ 𝑥𝑦 }

[ 2 ] {∆𝛾𝑥𝑦 } { 0 }

𝜕 𝑘𝑥 𝜕 2 𝑢𝑤 𝑘𝑦 𝜕 2 𝑢𝑤

(𝜀𝑣 − 𝜔 𝑢𝑤 ) = + +𝑄 (eqn 22)

𝜕𝑡 𝛾𝑤 𝜕𝑥 2 𝛾𝑤 𝜕𝑦 2

With:

𝜀𝑣 = 𝜀𝑥 + 𝜀𝑦 + 𝜀𝑧 (eqn 23)

1 1

𝜔𝑠𝑎𝑡 = ( − 1) (eqn 24)

𝐾 𝐿𝑅𝑅

3

𝜔𝑢𝑛𝑠𝑎𝑡 = 𝑚𝑣,𝑢𝑛𝑠𝑎𝑡 − (eqn 25)

𝐻

Page 10 of 45

Given the equations that SIGMA/W solves for the fully coupled type of analysis, the parameters

presented in Table X.X should be defined for a linear elastic material.

Table X.X Parameters needed by SIGMA/W’s hydro-geomechanical code

Parameter Type Format Observation

Saturated conductivity Hydraulic Value

Unsaturated conductivity Hydraulic Function Is a function of conductivity vs matric suction.

SIGMA/W doesn’t use the value given by the user,

Saturated volumetric water content slope Hydraulic Value

but the one given by equation 15.

Unsaturated volumetric water content Hydraulic Function SIGMA/W uses the derivate of the given function.

Unit weight of water Hydraulic Value

Saturated conductivity vs effective stress Geomechanical Function

Young's modulus vs effective stress Geomechanical Function Could be also a constant value.

Poisson’s ratio Geomechanical Value

Load Response Ratio Geomechanical Value Equal to Skempton’s B parameter.

Unit weight of the soil Geomechanical Value

displacement-pore water pressure fully implicit finite element formulation, which will be

presented below in order to understand how SIGMA/W actually works. The meaning of each

term of the equations are explained intentionally in a simplified manner, meanwhile the

detailed explanation can be checked in SIGMA/W’s manual.

∆𝑡 1

𝛽[𝐿𝑓 ]{∆𝛿} − ( [𝐾𝑓 ] + 𝜔[𝑀𝑁 ]) {∆𝑢𝑤 } = ∆𝑡 ({𝑄}|𝑡+Δ𝑡 + [𝐾𝑓 ]{𝑢𝑤 }|𝑡 ) (eqn 27)

𝛾𝑤 𝛾𝑤

Where:

[K] = stiffness matrix, which is related to E and ,

{} = incremental displacement vector, which is one of the two unknown variables,

[Ld] = coupling matrix, which is related to E, H and , but under SIGMA/W’s

assumption is related to the unit vector <1 1 1 0>,

{uw} = incremental pore water pressure, which is the second one of the two unknown

variables,

{F} = change in external loads and weight, which is always known,

[Lf] = coupling matrix for flow, which is related to the unit vector <1 1 1 0>,

[Kf] = element stiffness matrix, which is related to the hydraulic conductivities,

[MN] = mass matrix,

Page 11 of 45

{Q}|t+t = applied boundary flux at t + t, because of the fully implicit approach, and

{uw}|t = pore water pressure at t, which appears because of the fully implicit approach.

If we omit mathematical rigor and replace equation 26 in equation 27, we can obtain equation

28, which is only intended to provide some understanding on how a change in total stress is

transferred into a change in pore water pressure. It’s important to make clear that each term of

equation 28 is intended to be understood by its general meaning.

∆𝑡

{∆𝐹} − [𝐾][𝐾𝑓 ]{𝑢𝑤 }|𝑡 − ∆𝑡[𝐾]{𝑄}|𝑡+Δ𝑡

𝛾𝑤

{∆𝑢𝑤 } = (eqn 28)

∆𝑡

1 + 𝛾 [𝐾][𝐾𝑓 ] + 𝜔[𝐾][𝑀𝑁 ]

𝑤

Equation 28 states that, if there’s no boundary flux applied (Q=0), the change in pore water

pressure “uw” will be equal to the change in total stress “F”, reduced by the effect of drainage

“Kf”, by the effect of the stiffness of the soil “K”, and by the capacity of the soil to retain or

release water “”, which in the saturated part of the domain is related to the Load Response

Ratio. This means that for the undrained response, which occurs when [Kf]~0, [K]~0 or t~0, the

change in pore water pressure will be equal to the change in total stress reduced by the capacity

of the soil to retain or release water “”, which implies that for the saturated part of the

domain, if a Load Response Ratio of 1 is considered (=0), the whole change in total stress will

be transferred into a change in pore water pressure, meantime if a Load Response Ratio of less

than 1 is considered (>0) , only a fraction of the change in total stress will be transferred into a

change in pore water pressure.

Even more, equation 28 can help us demonstrate that the Load Response Ratio is equivalent to

Skempton’s B parameter, defined by equation 20, which means that the Load Response Ratio

can actually be used to soften the changes in pore water pressure due to changes in total stress.

First, if the undrained response is considered with no boundary flux applied, equation 28 can be

written as equation 29:

{∆𝐹}

{∆𝑢𝑤 } = (eqn 29)

1 + 𝜔[𝐾][𝑀𝑁 ]

If we consider the saturated part of the domain and replace the definition of given by

equation 24 in equation 29, equation 30 can be written:

{∆𝐹}

{∆𝑢𝑤,𝑠𝑎𝑡 } = (eqn 30)

1 1

1 + 𝐾 (𝐿𝑅𝑅 − 1) [𝐾][𝑀𝑁 ]

Page 12 of 45

Finally, by doing some algebra and assuming that K is equal to [K][MN], equation 31 can be

written, which demonstrates that the Load Response Ratio is analogous to Skempton’s B

parameter:

This actually means that the Load Response Ratio is a very important parameter when comes to

soften the changes in pore water pressure due to changes in total stress in the saturated part of

the domain, in the same way the Skempton’s B parameter would do. It’s important to know

that the Skempton’s B parameter can be calculated using equation 32 (REFERENCE, YEAR) or

taken from Table X.X (Domenico and Schwartz, 1997).

1

𝐵= (eqn 32)

𝐾

1+𝑛

𝐾𝑤

Lithology Skempton's B

Clay 0.99

Mudstone 0.83

Sandstone 0.66

Limestone 0.25

Basalt 0.12

Nevertheless, caution must be taken when defining the Load Response Ratio (or Skempton’s B

parameter), since as it will be demonstrated below, the Load Response Ratio (or Skempton’s B

parameter) is actually related to the specific storage of the material, which means that by

modifying the Load Response Ratio, a groundwater flow parameter is also being modified. As it

was said before, it isn’t very hard to visualize that the specific storage should be at least one of

the parameters that softens the changes in pore water pressure due to changes in total stress.

The specific storage of a material, which is defined by equation 33, relates the elastic changes in

volumetric water content with the changes in pore water pressure in the saturated zone of the

domain, which occur because of the compressibility of the water and the soil’s skeleton.

Where:

Page 13 of 45

Ss = the specific storage,

= the compressibility of the soil skeleton, and

= the compressibility of the water.

Since the compressibility is defined as the inverse of the bulk modulus of the specified material,

equation 33 can be written as equation 34:

1 1

𝑆𝑠 = 𝛾𝑤 ( + 𝑛 ) (eqn 34)

𝐾 𝐾𝑤

𝛾𝑤 1

𝑆𝑠 = (eqn 35)

𝐾 1

𝐾

( 1 + 𝑛 𝐾𝑤 )

Replacing equation 32 in equation 35, equation 36 can be written, which demonstrates that the

Skempton’s B parameter is actually related to the Specific Storage.

𝛾𝑤

𝑆𝑠 = (eqn 36)

𝐾∙𝐵

Where:

B = Skempton’s B parameter.

This all means that the Load Response Ratio is equal to the Skempton’s B parameter, and that

they’re both related to the specific storage of the material, which implies that is the specific

storage what softens the changes in pore water pressure due to changes in total stress in the

saturated part of the model for the undrained response. This also means that the chosen value

for the Load Response Ratio determines the specific storage of the material, reason why the

Load Response Ratio shouldn’t be defined in an indiscriminately manner.

1.1.2.2. APPLICATION

Ulrich

Page 14 of 45

1.1.3. PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE

1.1.3.1. INTRODUCTION

PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE is a partially coupled hydro-geomechanical workflow developed by

Schlumberger for the oil industry, which doesn’t impose a limit for its applicability in the mining

industry. In that sense, ECLIPSE-100 and VISAGE are the numerical codes that perform the

hydraulic and geomechanical calculations, meantime, PETREL is the software that is utilized for

processing the field information, building the conceptual hydro-geomechanical model, exporting

the conceptual model into the hydraulic and geomechanical numerical models and processing

the results generated by the numerical models. The present chapter provides an overview on

how ECLIPSE-VISAGE performs its partially coupled hydro-geomechanical calculations.

The workflow PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE works in a partially coupled manner, meaning that the

hydraulic and geomechanical calculations are performed by separate codes that exchange

results through a third software, named RGCoupler, as indicated by Figure X.X. In that sense, for

each time step ECLIPSE-100 calculates the pore water pressure, result that is exported to VISAGE

at user-defined time steps. Whenever the pore water pressure is exported, VISAGE calculates

the total and effective stress distributions in addition to the deformation of the soil, which is

used by VISAGE for recalculating the hydraulic conductivity, which in term is returned to

ECLIPSE-100 for calculating the pore water pressure in the following time steps till another user-

defined pore water pressure exchange time step is achieved.

P, T, Sat

K

With respect to the equations that each code solves, one must take special attention in the fact

that the ECLIPSE-100 simulator was specifically developed for the oil industry, which means that

some considerations must be taken into account when building an open pit hydro-

Page 15 of 45

geomechanical coupled model with the PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE workflow. In that sense, the

differences between the ECLIPSE-100 code and a classic groundwater flow code are presented in

the present chapter.

Two are the main characteristics that make the ECLIPSE-100 simulator different from a

traditional groundwater flow code:

- ECLIPSE-100 is a multiphase-three fluid flow model (air, water and oil).

- ECLIPSE-100 considers variable density flow (PVT equations).

In that sense, the ECLIPSE-100 simulator defines Darcy’s law in terms of permeability, density,

viscosity and absolute pressure, instead of hydraulic conductivity and total head, as presented

by equation 37. At the same time, the mass balance equation utilized by ECLIPSE-100 assumes a

fluid with variable density, as presented by equation 38. Finally, if a gas-water-oil system is

considered, the resulting flow equation is applied to each and every fluid.

𝑘

𝑞𝑓 = ∇𝑃 (eqn 37)

𝜇𝑓

Where:

qf = the unit flow of the fluid “f”,

k = the permeability of the soil,

f = the dynamic viscosity of the fluid “f”, and

∇P = the absolute pressure gradient.

𝜕

−∇M𝑓 = (𝑛 ∙ 𝜌𝑓 ) + 𝑄𝑓 (eqn 38)

𝜕𝑡

Where:

∇Mf = the mass flux of the fluid “f”,

n = the effective porosity,

f = the density of the fluid “f”, and

Qf = the boundary condition flow of the fluid “f”.

One must also take into account that in the ECLIPSE formulation the specific storage is a derived

parameter calculated from the effective porosity and compressibility of the soil skeleton and

water, as indicated by equation 37 which is different to the traditional equation of the specific

storage, presented by equation 33.

Page 16 of 45

𝑆𝑠 = 𝛾𝑤 ∙ 𝑛 ∙ (𝛼 + 𝛽) (eqn 37)

Where:

Ss = the specific storage,

w = specific weight of water,

n = effective porosity,

= the compressibility of the soil skeleton, and

= the compressibility of the water.

Additionally, in order to build an unconfined groundwater model with ECLIPSE, the flow of water

and air needs to be modeled. In that sense, and contrary to a traditional groundwater flow

model, the fluid properties of the air and the boundary conditions associated to the atmosphere

need to be defined.

Finally, it’s extremely important to understand that VISAGE does not recalculate the pore water

pressure in any way, and that VISAGE doesn’t return the calculated changes in porosity to

ECLIPSE, reason why the workflow ECLIPSE-VISAGE cannot reproduce certain hydro-

geomechanical effects that are directly associated to the changes in the porosity, such as the

undrained response, which can be considerably important in certain scenarios. Finally, it’s also

important to understand that trying to reproduce such effects cannot be accomplished by

exporting the changes in porosity from VISAGE to ECLIPSE, since ECLIPSE, as any other flow

simulator, doesn’t calculate the pore water pressure based on changes in porosity, because the

flow equations do not depend directly on the storage function but on its derivative, i.e. the

specific storage and the slope in the partially saturated side. In that sense, one must understand

that in order to reproduce hydro-geomechanical effects that aren’t associated to the change in

hydraulic conductivity, a fully hydro-geomechanical coupled code must be used.

1.1.3.3. APPLICATION

Ulrich

The generic model shall provide a better understanding of the code-specific behavior

and the sensitivity of selected parameters.

For this purpose, a typical open pit scenario has been set up representing a 2D vertical

problem, both as uncoupled groundwater flow model as well as a coupled model. In both

models a series of parameter combinations was run with the objective to evaluate the

parameters in terms of their impact on coupled effects as well as to specify the range for

Page 17 of 45

certain parameter values or parameter combinations within coupled effects are expected

to be significant. The first analysis provides a better understanding of the simulation

results using more complex real-world data. The latter analysis is to provide decision

support for project managers if coupled modeling is to be taken into consideration for a

project or not.

1.2.2.1. GEOMETRY

The geometry adopted for the generic model is shown in Figure X.X, meantime the details of the

excavation are presented in Table X.X. The general idea is to represent a typical Large Open Pit

excavation in a simplified manner. The global characteristics of the excavation were taken from

real field data and are considered representative of open pit mines that have been already

modeled by Schlumberger Water Services, which doesn’t impose a limit to the applicability of

the current analysis.

Global slope (°) 42

Half-width of the bottom (m) 300

Excavation steps 50 m each year

Page 18 of 45

Total excavation depth 500 m in 10 years

It’s important to explain that the 1 year discretization of the excavation sequence is similar to

the discretizations used by SWS in previous mine dewatering models, reason why it was chosen

for the current generic model. A test run was made in order to observe if a finer discretization

would lead to different results, but no noticeably differences were appreciate. Nevertheless, for

real case scenarios it’s strongly recommended to try different discretizations in order to choose

the most appropriate one, taking into account that the modelling software will usually consider

that the imposed excavation happens instantaneously in the first time step of the given stress

period. With that in mind, it’s also very important to define initial time steps that aren’t too

small.

In the other hand, the model domain was made large enough in order to avoid any unwanted

influence of the excavation in the hydraulic and geomechanical boundary conditions for each

sensitivity analysis that it was done. For real case applications it’s recommended to try different

extensions in order to define the optimal domain. Caution must be taken when defining the

depth of the model, since it was observed that relatively high depths are needed in order to

respect the geomechanical boundary conditions, which inevitably leads to an increase in the

transmissivity and storativity of the model, problem that can be easily bypassed by defining

proper depth-decreasing hydraulic conductivities and depth-increasing bulk moduli functions,

which should always be as realistic as possible.

With respect to the total duration of the analysis, a period of 10 years was considered long

enough in order to evaluate the possible hydro-geomechanical coupled effects that could arise.

Finally, a test run was made in order to verify if considering a cross section that includes both

sides of the pit would lead to different results, but no differences were appreciated.

Nevertheless, it’s important to noticed that if a cross section that only contains one side of the

open pit is chosen to be used, this section should reach approximately the middle part of the

bottom of the pit if a no-flow boundary condition is imposed in the vertical downstream side of

the model.

The hydraulic and geomechanical boundary conditions defined for the generic model are shown

and explained in Figures X.X and X.X, respectively. It’s important to understand that the

hydraulic boundary conditions associated to a hydro-geomechanical coupled model should be

the same as those defined for a classic groundwater flow model, meanwhile the geomechanical

boundary conditions are defined, in this case, by restraining or allowing displacements in the

different faces of the domain. In general terms, the chosen boundary conditions should be valid

for most occasions.

Page 19 of 45

Constant Head = 2850 masl

Seepage Boundary Condition

No-Flow Boundary Condition

dx = 0 dy = variable

dx = variable dy = variable

dx = 0 dy = 0

Page 20 of 45

In order to avoid any unwanted influence of the excavation in the imposed boundary conditions

an appropriate model domain must be defined. In the particular case of a hydro-geomechanical

coupled model, caution must be taken when defining the total depth of the domain, since the

changes in total stress that are associated to the excavation process propagate deeply beneath

the pit.

Finally, for real case applications one must always verify that the seepage faces calculated by the

model are occurring in reality, otherwise one could be overestimating or underestimating the

real pore water pressure field.

For the hydro-geomechanical coupled generic model a linear elastic material was chosen to be

used, which is considered adequate for representing the elastic behavior of a fractured rock

(referencia, XXXX). No yield criteria was defined, since the objective of this study is strictly

related to the calibration and prediction of the pore water pressure and not to the evaluation of

the stability and possible failure of the open pit.

With respect to the hydraulic part of the model, a saturated/unsaturated material was chosen

to be used in order to represent the vadose zone.

The adopted values of each material parameter for the base case scenario are presented in

Table X.X, meanwhile the characteristics values used for the sensitivity analysis are presented in

chapter X.X.

ECLIPSE-

Parameter Value SEEP/W SIGMA/W

VISAGE

Hyd. conductivity at saturation (m/s) 1.0E-08

Hyd. conductivity variation w/ saturation Figure X.X

Hyd. conductivity variation w/ effective stress Figure X.X

Specific yield (%) 0.5%

Storage variation w/ saturation Figure X.X

Specific storage (1/m) 5.0E-07 *

Young's modulus for the rock mass (GPa) 5

Young's modulus variation w/ effective stress Figure X.X

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

*For SIGMA/W the specific storage is a derived parameter (equations 12 to 16).

The variation of the hydraulic conductivity and the volumetric water content with respect to the

saturation are presented in Figures X.X and X.X, meantime the variation of the hydraulic

conductivity and the Young’s modulus with respect to the effective stress are presented in

Figures X.X and X.X, respectively.

Page 21 of 45

10

K / Ksat ()

0.1

0.01

0.001

0.01 0.1 1 10 100

Matric Suction (kPa)

1.2

1

VWC / VWC sat ()

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

0 20 40 60 80 100

Matric Suction (kPa)

10

1

K modifier ()

0.1

0.01

0.001

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

Effective Stress (kPa)

Figure X.X Variation of the Young’s modulus with the effective stress

Page 22 of 45

100

E modifier ()

10

1

0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

Effective Stress (kPa)

Caution must be taken when defining the temporal discretization because it needs to be

appropriate for both the hydraulic and the geomechanical parts of the model. In that sense, one

must take into account that the excavation will be most likely imposed instantaneously during

the first time step of the considered stress period, meaning that if the excavated volume is too

high in relation to the duration of the initial time step, an undrained response might be being

forced into the model. For the generic model an initial time step of 20 days was considered

appropriate for the purpose of analyzing the possible coupled effects that could arise during the

simulations.

The base case scenario described in detail in chapter X.X was ran with the classic groundwater

flow code SEEP/W, with the fully hydro-geomechanical coupled code SIGMA/W, and with the

partially hydro-geomechanical coupled code ECLIPSE-VISAGE. In order to compare the results

given by each code, 4 total heads observation wells are considered, each of them having 6

sensors located at different depths, as shown in Figure X.X. The specific locations of each sensor

are presented in Table X.X.

The general idea is to analyze the evolution of the total heads below the bottom of the

excavation (observation well P1), near the toe of the pit (observation well P2), near the slope of

the pit (observation well P3) and outside of the pit (observation well P4), throughout the ten

years simulation period.

Finally, in order to have a general idea of the distribution of the resulting total heads throughout

the domain, the total heads field at the end of the simulation is presented for each run of the

base case scenario.

Page 23 of 45

Figure X.X Location of the observation wells

Sensor / Obs. Well P4 P3 P2 P1

S1 (1350 , 2775) (1850 , 2775) (2100 , 2775) (2350 , 2775)

S2 (1350 , 2675) (1850 , 2675) (2100 , 2675) (2350 , 2675)

S3 (1350 , 2575) (1850 , 2575) (2100 , 2575) (2350 , 2575)

S4 (1350 , 2475) (1850 , 2475) (2100 , 2475) (2350 , 2475)

S5 (1350 , 2375) (1850 , 2375) (2100 , 2375) (2350 , 2375)

S6 (1350 , 2275) (1850 , 2275) (2100 , 2275) (2350 , 2275)

1.2.3.2. SCENARIOS

In order to quantify the relative importance of each hydraulic and geomechanical parameter

involved in the hydro-geomechanical coupled depressurization process, a sensitivity analysis

was performed to the generic model using the classic groundwater flow code SEEP/W, the fully

hydro-geomechanical coupled code SIGMA/W, and the partially hydro-geomechanical coupled

code ECLIPSE-VISAGE.

Depending on the software a different number of sensitivity analysis were performed, which are

presented in Table X.X. Each sensitivity analysis considered the modification of only one material

parameter at a time, which were changed to a maximum and minimum value based on

information given by preexisting pit dewatering projects developed by Schlumberger Water

Services and by the literature. Additionally, for the hydro-geomechanical coupled models a

special scenario was ran, which considered a constant hydraulic conductivity with respect to the

effective stress.

Table X.X Parameters used for the Base Case Scenario

Values ECLIPSE-

Parameter SEEP/W SIGMA/W

(min ; base ; max) VISAGE

Hyd. conductivity at saturation (m/s) 1.0E-10 ; 1.0E-08 ; 1.0E-06

Page 24 of 45

Hyd. conductivity variation w/ saturation Figure X.X

Hyd. conductivity variation w/ effective stress Figure X.X

Specific yield (%) 0.1% ; 0.5% ; 3%

Storage variation w/ saturation Figure X.X

Specific storage (1/m) 1.0E-07 ; 5.0E-07 ; 1.0E-06 *

Young's modulus for the rock mass (GPa) 1.0 ; 5.0 ; 10.0

Young's modulus variation w/ effective stress Figure X.X

Poisson's ratio () 0.1 ; 0.2 ; 0.3

Load response ratio () 0.1 ; 0.3 ; 0.6

Hyd. cond. constant w/ effective stress (m/s) 1.0E-08

*For SIGMA/W the specific storage is a derived parameter (equations 12 to 16).

Adopting a similar approach to the one defined for the analysis of the base case scenario, for

each run of the sensitivity analysis the resulting total heads of 4 observation wells are

presented, each of them having 6 sensors located at different depths, as shown by Figure X.X.

The specific locations of each sensor are presented in Table X.X. Finally, in order to have a

general idea of the distribution of the resulting total heads throughout the domain, the total

heads field at the end of the simulation is presented for each sensitivity analysis.

In the past, several studies on coupled effects have been carried out by SWS. However,

for numerical modeling so far calibration of the results was not possible, as no sufficient

data on hydrogeological settings, geomechanical parameters and historical monitoring

data for pore pressures were available for the respective locations. Thus, the models´

accuracy and reliability could not be verified.

In response to this challenge, some open pit mines have been identified that possess

the necessary data in terms of quality and quantity. From these mines, XXX has been

selected for a representative case study.

The scope of the study is to simulate the response of the pore pressure distribution to

pit excavation. The simulation will be run both uncoupled using a classical groundwater

flow code. Two workflows will be applied, SEEP/W&SIGMA/W as well as

Petrel/Eclipse/Visage. The models will be calibrated and the calibration results will be

assessed for differences between uncoupled and coupled codes and between the

different workflows.

Ulrich

Page 25 of 45

1.3.2.2. MODEL GEOMETRY

To define

To define

To define

To define

To define

1.3.3.2. SCENARIOS

To define

Page 26 of 45

2. QUALITATIVE PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS

A qualitative preliminary analysis is done in order to explain the expected behavior of the

hydro-geomechanical coupled response that could appear during the numerical

simulations, and how each hydraulic and geomechanical parameter should influence the

evolution of the pore water pressure field. The present analysis considers that a fully

coupled hydro-geomechanical response could exist, reason why every possible coupled

process is explained.

When an excavation occurs, a negative change in the total stress field will immediately

follow. This decrement in total stress will have two major initial instantaneous effects on

a saturated soil, which are intrinsically related to each other:

1) A fraction of the decrement in total stress will be immediately transferred into a

decrement in effective stress which will lead to a certain expansion of the soil. This

expansion will originate a hydraulic transient process that is directly associated to the

change in the volume of the drainage porosity, and hence to the part of the

volumetric water content that is associated to the volume of the pores and not to the

compressibility of the water and soil skeleton. This transient process will consist

basically in a movement of water from regions with relatively high total heads

towards the regions that suffered certain amount of expansion. Additionally, the

expansion of the soil could lead to an increase in the hydraulic conductivity, which

could accelerate the depressurization process and also establish a new, more

depressurized state of equilibrium. The geomechanical parameter that determines

the amount of expansion due to a certain decrement in total stress is the bulk

modulus of the soil, which depends on the Young’s modulus and on the Poisson’s

ratio. In the other hand, the parameter that defines which part of the change in total

stress will be instantaneously transferred into a change in effective stress is one

minus the Skempton’s B coefficient, which depends on the unit weight of water, the

specific storage and Biot’s parameter H, which in the SIGMA/W formulation is

considered equal as the bulk modulus of the soil.

2) The fraction of the change in total stress that isn’t transferred into a decrement in

effective stress will be immediately transferred into a decrement in pore water

pressure, which will originate another hydraulic transient process that is associated

to the change in volumetric water content due to the compressibility of the water and

the soil skeleton, which is usually represented by the specific storage coefficient.

This transient process will consist basically in a movement of water from regions with

relatively high total heads towards the depressurized regions. It’s easy to conclude

that higher values of the specific storage coefficient in the depressurized regions will

imply that more water will be needed to reestablished the equilibrium of the system,

nevertheless higher values for the specific storage will reduce the initial fraction of

decrement in pore water pressure due to the decrement in total stress, because the

specific storage is inversely related to the Skempton’s B coefficient. At the end,

higher values for the specific storage coefficient will lead to a lower depressurization

due to the excavation process.

Page 27 of 45

After the instantaneous initial response of the saturated soil happens, a hydraulic

transient process follows. If we assume that no other excavations happened after the

initial one, it’s easy to conclude that the water flow will occur through a constant total

stress field, which implies that every change in pore water pressure will generate an

opposite change in effective stress, and thus a change in volumetric strain. It’s also easy

to conclude that the transient hydraulic process will be affected by both, the hydraulic

and the geomechanical parameters. With that in mind, it’s easy to demonstrate that

relatively high hydraulic conductivities will lead to a faster equilibration of the system,

meantime relatively high storage coefficients will imply that more water is needed to

reestablished the pressures in the depressurized regions, but also that more water is

available for restituting the state of equilibrium without depressurizing other regions.

Moreover, high storage coefficients will imply a relatively small initial decrease in pore

water pressure due to the decrement in total stress, because of the relationship that

exists between the specific storage and the Skempton’s B coefficient. At the same time,

higher bulk moduli will imply a more rigid behavior of the soil, which reduces the effect of

the deformation of the drainage porosity in the groundwater flow equations and also the

initial fraction of decrease in pore water pressure due to the decrement in total stress,

because of the relationship that exists between the bulk modulus and the Skempton’s B

coefficient. With that in mind, it’s easy to conclude that the depressurization associated

to a coupled response will be more important in systems with relatively low hydraulic

conductivities, storage coefficients and bulk moduli.

It’s also important to consider that in general terms, the negative change in the total

stress field associated to an excavation will have a horizontal extension approximately

limited by the horizontal area of the excavation, meantime it will have a vertical

extension that can go hundreds of meters below the excavation, which means that,

generally, the vertical propagation of the decrement in total stress is far more important

that the horizontal one. This is an important issue to take into account, because it implies

that, if a coupled response exists, the major decrements in pore water pressure due to

decrements in total stress will be observed mainly within the limits of the open pit, at a

wide range of depths. Nevertheless, it’s easy to visualize that this depressurization can

affect the regions located outside of the open pit, which are the ones responsible for

providing the water for reestablishing the equilibrium of the system, if this regions have

relatively high hydraulic conductivities and relatively low storage coefficients.

Finally, it’s very important to understand that every transient process only brings the

system closer to its state of equilibrium, and that the instantaneous depressurization

associated to a coupled response can accelerate that process, if the state of equilibrium

is more depressurized that the present situation, or decelerate it, if the state of

equilibrium is more pressurized that the present situation. In the first scenario, the

hydraulic transient process that follows the initial decrement of pore water pressure due

to the decrement in total stress will consist in a continuum decrease of the pore

pressure, meantime the second scenario will have a transient process that will consist in

a continuum increase of the pore pressure.

Page 28 of 45

2.3. RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF EACH HYDRAULIC AND GEOMECHANICAL

PARAMETER

The relative importance that each hydraulic and geomechanical parameter has on the

hydro-geomechanical coupled depressurization process will be explained in a qualitative

manner in order to better understand the numerical modeling process.

In a strictly hydraulic homogenous and isotropic problem, the hydraulic conductivity has

two major effects in the global evolution of the pore water pressure field; it determinates

the velocity with which the system approaches its state of equilibrium and it also

determines its final shape. With that in mind, and considering that an excavation below

water table induces a depressurization of the system, it can be concluded that higher

hydraulic conductivities will lead to a faster depressurization of the system, and to a

more depressurized pore pressure state of equilibrium. These two effects are explained

by the relationship that exists between the hydraulic conductivity, the flow velocity and

total head gradient, given by Darcy’s law. Heterogeneities and anisotropies of the

hydraulic conductivity will determine spatial variations of the pore water pressure field

that will be clearly related to variations of the velocity field.

In the other hand, when a hydro-geomechanical coupled response happens, the

hydraulic conductivity will determine the velocity with which the system will fill the pores

in the regions that suffer some degree of expansion due to the decrement in effective

stress and also the velocity with which the system will reestablish the pressures in the

regions that suffered a decrement in the part of the volumetric water content that is

associated to the specific storage. With that in mind, it is expected that low values of

hydraulic conductivity will generate a depressurization that is more persistent in time.

Finally, it’s also important to consider that if the system doesn’t have the time to

reestablish its equilibrium between the excavation periods, the depressurization

associated to the new excavation will be added to the preceding one, depressurizing

even further the system.

The specific yield coefficient determines the amount of water that a permeable unit can

release or gain when the water table drops or rises in an unconfined aquifer. In the

excavation below water table problem, the specific yield will determine the amount of

water that needs to be drained before the water table drops in certain amount, which

implies that higher values of specific yield will lead to a slower depressurization of the

system, because more water needs to be drained.

When a hydro-geomechanical coupled response happens, the specific yield coefficient

will also determine the amount of water that is available for filling the pores of the

regions that suffered some degree of expansion due to the decrement in effective stress

and also for reestablishing the pressures in the regions that suffered a decrement in the

part of the volumetric water content that is associated to the specific storage. With that in

mind, it is expected that low values of specific yield will lead to a more depressurized

system.

Page 29 of 45

2.3.3. RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF THE SPECIFIC STORAGE (S S )

In a strictly hydraulic groundwater model, the specific storage coefficient determines the

amount of water that an aquifer can release or gain from its saturated regions due to the

compressibility of the water and soil skeleton. In the excavation below water table

problem, higher values of specific storage will lead to a slower depressurization of the

aquifer, because more water needs to be drained. Nevertheless, since the generic

model that is being analyzed assumes the existence of an unconfined aquifer, the effect

of the specific storage coefficient is much lower than the effect of the specific yield.

When a hydro-geomechanical coupled response happens, the specific storage

coefficient also determines the initial fraction of decrement in total stress that is

instantaneously transferred into a decrement in pore water pressure when an excavation

occurs, because of the relationship that exists between the Skempton’s B coefficient and

the specific storage. With that in mind, it is concluded that low values of specific storage

will lead to a more depressurized system because less water needs to be drained and

because less water is available for soften the decrements in pore water pressure due to

the decrements in total stress.

The Young’s modulus of a material determines the amount of stress that needs to be

applied in certain direction to obtain certain amount of strain in the same direction. In the

excavation below water table problem, the Young’s modulus will determine, among other

things, the amount of volumetric expansion that will suffer the soil that is subjected to a

decrease in effective stress due to the decrement in total stress. Additionally, the

Young’s modulus will determine the initial fraction of decrement in total stress that is

instantaneously transferred into a decrement in pore water pressure when an excavation

occurs, because it is related to the Skempton’s B coefficient. With that in mind, it is

concluded that relatively low values of the Young’s modulus will lead to a more

depressurized system.

The Poisson’s ratio is the negative proportion of transverse to axial strain. High values of

the Poisson’s ratio imply that the material is more incompressible in terms of volumetric

strain, meaning that if expansion occurs in certain direction, an important contraction will

occur in the perpendicular direction, leading to a conservation of the total volume. In the

excavation below water table problem, the Poisson’s ratio will determine, among other

things, the amount of volumetric expansion that will suffer the soil that is subjected to a

decrease in effective stress due to the decrement in total stress. Additionally, the

Poisson’s ratio will determine the initial fraction of decrement in total stress that is

instantaneously transferred into a decrement in pore water pressure when an excavation

occurs, because it is related to the Skempton’s B coefficient. With that in mind, it’s easy

to conclude that relatively low values of the Poisson’s ratio will lead to a more

depressurized system.

Page 30 of 45

2.3.6. RELATIVE IMPORTANCE OF THE SKEMPTON’S B COEFFICIENT (B)

The Skempton’s B coefficient determines which fraction of the initial decrement in total

stress will be instantaneously transferred into a decrement in pore water pressure and

which fraction into a decrement in effective stress. With that in mind, it’s easy to

conclude that relatively high values of the Skempton’s B coefficient will lead to a more

depressurized system.

Page 31 of 45

3. DISCUSSION AND COMPARISON OF RESULTS

For each run of the models the resulting total heads of 4 observation wells are presented,

each of them having 6 sensors located at different depths, as shown by Figure X.X. The

specific locations of each sensor are presented in Table X.X. The general idea is to present

the evolution of the total heads below the bottom of the excavation (observation well P1),

near the toe of the pit (observation well P2), near the slope of the pit (observation well P3)

and outside of the pit (observation well P4), throughout the ten years simulation period.

Finally, in order to have a general idea of the distribution of the resulting total heads

throughout the domain, the total heads field at the end of the simulation is presented for

each run of the base case scenario.

The results given by SEEP/W are useful to understand the relative importance that each

hydraulic parameter has on the resulting total head field when no coupled process

exists, but more important, they’re useful to define a point of comparison for the

sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W.

The hydraulic parameters used for the SEEP/W base case scenario are presented in

Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each observation well are shown in

Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total head field at the end of the

simulation is presented in Figure X.X from the Appendix B.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SEEP/W Base Case Scenario

Page 32 of 45

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 5.0E-07

Young's modulus (GPa) - Doesn't apply.

Poisson's ratio () - Doesn't apply.

Load response ratio () - Doesn't apply.

Appendix B, show that the specific parameters chosen for the strictly hydraulic base

case scenario imply a depressurization of the aquifer that can be measured by the four

observation wells, with total depressurization depths at the end of the simulation period

that vary between 50 and 500 m depending on the chosen sensor, which is considered

adequate for the purpose of evaluating the possible coupled effects that could arise

during the hydro-geomechanical coupled simulations. Additionally, one can notice that

each and every pressure sensor shows an instantaneous drop in total head at the

beginning of each year, which is explained by the fact that SEEP/W imposes the

excavations in an instantaneous manner during the first time step of the considered

stress period. After the instantaneous initial drop in pressure happens, each and every

sensor shows continuously decreasing pore water pressures, which means that for the

strictly hydraulic model the evolution of the system is always towards the

depressurization, which may not be true when hydro-geomechanical coupled effects

arise. Finally, it’s very important to noticed that for a strictly hydraulic model without

manmade drainage systems, the total depressurization depth cannot be higher than the

total excavation depth below the water table, which in this case is equal to 500 m.

With respect to the specific evolution of the total heads below the bottom of the pit it can

be said that a vertical hydraulic gradient of around -X m/m is observed, which is

explained because of the existence of an upward flow that occurs throughout the whole

simulation period. The almost horizontal alignment of the equipotential curves bellow the

bottom of the open pit can be observed at the end of the simulation in Figure X.X from

the Appendix B.

A different total head distribution is observed near the toe of the pit because of the

existence of a depth decreasing hydraulic gradient which is associated to the existence

of an horizontal to upward flow near the toe of the pit. The concentric equipotential

curves at the mentioned location can be observed at the end of the simulation in Figure

X.X from the Appendix B.

On the other hand, near the slope of the open pit a vertical hydraulic gradient can be

observed, which tends to be upward at the beginning of the simulation and downward at

the end of it with magnitudes that are smaller than the ones observed below the bottom

and near the toe of the open pit. This behavior is explained because of the existence of

an almost horizontal flow near the location of the pressure sensors, which tends to be

upwards at the beginning of the excavation and downwards at the end. The almost

vertical alignment of the equipotential curves near slope of the open pit can be observed

at the end of the simulation in Figure X.X from the Appendix B.

Finally, outside of the pit a relatively small downward vertical gradient can be observed,

which is explained because of the existence of a horizontal to downward flow. The

Page 33 of 45

inclined orientation of the equipotential curves near outside of the pit can be observed at

the end of the simulation in Figure X.X.

The hydraulic parameters used for the SEEP/W hydraulic conductivity sensitivity

analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each

observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total

head fields at the end of the simulation for the K max and K min scenarios are presented

in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SEEP/W Hydraulic Conductivity Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-10 ; 1.0E-08 ; 1.0E-06 Variable w/ saturation.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 5.0E-07

Young's modulus (GPa) - Doesn't apply.

Poisson's ratio () - Doesn't apply.

Load response ratio () - Doesn't apply.

The sensitivity analysis performed with SEEP/W in relation to the hydraulic conductivity

shows an important dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the

mentioned parameter. The hydrographs calculated by SEEP/W, presented in Figures

X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, show that increasing the hydraulic conductivity two orders

of magnitude implies a much more depressurized aquifer, with total depressurization

depths at the end of the simulation period that vary between 400 and 500 m depending

on the chosen sensor. At the same time, very low vertical gradients can be observed

throughout the whole aquifer, which is explained because of the existence of an almost

horizontal flow towards the open pit. In the other hand, decreasing the hydraulic

conductivity two orders of magnitude implies almost no drop of the water table, with

depressurization depths that are mainly associated to the proximity of the considered

sensors to the seepage boundary condition of the open pit, and hence to the drainage of

the water that is stored elastically in the aquifer, which implies that almost no

depressurization happens outside of the open pit. The total head fields at the end of the

simulation period of each scenario are presented by Figures X.X and X.X of the

Appendix B.

The results given by the K min scenario are considered very important for the purpose of

understanding the importance of using a hydro-geomechanical coupled code when it’s

needed, because they imply that an open pit with hydraulic conductivities of around

1.0E-10 m/s should show almost no depressurization during a period of time of at least

10 years, which is exactly the opposite result that a hydro-geomechanical code would

give, as it will be demonstrated in chapter 6.1.3.3 .

The hydraulic parameters used for the SEEP/W specific yield sensitivity analysis are

presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each observation well

are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total head fields at the

Page 34 of 45

end of the simulation for the Sy max and Sy min scenarios are presented in Figures X.X

and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SEEP/W Specific Yield Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation.

Specific yield (%) 0.1% ; 0.5% ; 3% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 5.0E-07

Young's modulus (GPa) - Doesn't apply.

Poisson's ratio () - Doesn't apply.

Load response ratio () - Doesn't apply.

The sensitivity analysis performed with SEEP/W in relation to the specific yield shows a

dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the mentioned parameter

that is much less important than the one associated to the hydraulic conductivity, which

doesn’t mean that the specific yield should be considered as an irrelevant parameter.

Moreover, the hydrographs calculated by SEEP/W, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of

the Appendix B, show differences in total head of up to 50 m between the Sy max and

Sy min scenarios, being the depressurization process quicker for the Sy min scenario.

It’s important to noticed that the major differences in total head are observed in the

sensors that are located far away from the open pit. The total head fields at the end of

the simulation period of each scenario are presented by Figures X.X and X.X of the

Appendix B.

The relative importance of the specific yield parameter for evaluating the benefit of using

a hydro-geomechanical coupled code will be analyzed in chapter 6.1.3.4.

The hydraulic parameters used for the SEEP/W specific storage sensitivity analysis are

presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each observation well

are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total head fields at the

end of the simulation for the Ss max and Ss min scenarios are presented in Figures X.X

and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SEEP/W Specific Storage Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 1.0E-07 ; 5.0E-07 ; 1.0E-06

Young's modulus (GPa) - Doesn't apply.

Poisson's ratio () - Doesn't apply.

Load response ratio () - Doesn't apply.

The sensitivity analysis performed with SEEP/W in relation to the specific storage shows

a dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the mentioned parameter

that is much less important than the one associated to the hydraulic conductivity, which

doesn’t mean that the specific storage should be considered as an irrelevant parameter.

Page 35 of 45

The hydrographs calculated by SEEP/W, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the

Appendix B, show differences in total head of up to 20 m between the Ss max and Ss

min scenarios, being the depressurization process quicker for the Ss min scenario. The

total head fields at the end of the simulation period of each scenario are presented by

Figures X.X and X.X of the Appendix B.

The relative importance of the specific storage parameter for evaluating the benefit of

using a hydro-geomechanical coupled code will be analyzed in chapter 6.1.3.5.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W base case scenario

are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each observation

well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total head field at

the end of the simulation is presented in Figure X.X from the Appendix B.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Base Case Scenario

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 1.2E-06 to 1.2E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

Appendix B, show that the specific parameters chosen for the hydro-geomechanical

coupled base case scenario imply a depressurization of the aquifer that can be

measured by the four observation wells, with total depressurization depths that are in

general terms similar to the ones calculated by the strictly hydraulic code. Nevertheless,

noticeable differences between the two modeling approaches can be observed, having

the hydrographs of the hydro-geomechanical coupled code two distinctive behaviors.

First of all, depending on the considered sensor and simulation time one can observe a

recovery of the pore water pressure after the initial instantaneous drop in total head

that’s associated to the excavation process. This rebound effect of the pore water

pressure is more likely to happen in the vicinity of the open pit at the beginning of the

excavation, and it’s explained by the fact that in a hydro-geomechanical model the

decrease in total stress might depressurize the system further away from its equilibrium.

Second of all, one can observe that at the end of the simulation, the aquifer associated

to the hydro-geomechanical coupled model is slightly more depressurized that the one

associated to the strictly hydraulic model, especially beneath the excavation, which is

explained by the fact that the hydro-geomechanical coupled code increases the

hydraulic conductivity because of the general decrease in effective stress, and by the

fact that the excavation process induces instantaneous drops in total stress that are

partially transmitted into a certain decrease in pore water pressure. The differences in

Page 36 of 45

the total head field at the end of the simulation period of each scenario can be observed

in Figures X.X and X.X of the Appendix B.

For the particular configuration of SIGMA/W’s base case scenario, it can be

demonstrated that the acceleration of the depressurization process is almost exclusively

related to the increase in hydraulic conductivity that happens because of the decrease in

effective stress, which doesn’t mean that for other configurations the effect of the

decrease in pore water pressure because of the decrease in total stress could be much

more important than the effect of the increase in hydraulic conductivity. In order to

demonstrate that the differences in results between SIGMA/W’s and SEEP/W’s base

case scenarios are associated to SIMGA/W’s recalculation of the hydraulic conductivity,

a comparison between SEEP/W’s base case scenario and a simulation done with

SIMGA/W’s base case scenario assuming constant hydraulic conductivity will be

presented in the next chapter.

Additionally, the hydrographs presented in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B

show that for the hydro-geomechanical coupled scenario a downward flow right beneath

the open pit exists at the beginning of the simulation, results that cannot be obtained by

using a strictly hydraulic code. This downward flow tends to disappear with time, being

the vertical hydraulic gradient almost nonexistent right beneath pit at the end of the

simulation.

Finally, one can observe that the initial instantaneous drop in pore water pressure

associated to each excavation is of around 40 m for the sensors located right beneath

the excavation, which is consistent with the adopted values for the Load Response Ratio

(0.3), specific weight of the soil (26.5 kN/m3), and depth of each excavation step (50 m).

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W constant conductivity

scenario are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for each

observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the total

head field at the end of the simulation is presented in Figure X.X from the Appendix B.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Constant Conductivity Scenario

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation. Constant w/ effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 1.2E-06 to 1.2E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

Appendix B, show that if no recalculation of the hydraulic conductivity is considered

during SIGMA/W’s base case scenario simulation, the general results given by

SIGMA/W base case scenario are almost identical to the ones given by SEEP/W’s base

case scenario, neglecting the recovery effect of the pore water pressure that’s still

observed in certain sensors at certain simulation times, and that it doesn’t directly

depend on recalculation of the hydraulic conductivity. The differences in the total head

Page 37 of 45

field at the end of the simulation period of each scenario can be observed in Figures X.X

and X.X of the Appendix B.

This result demonstrates that, for the base case scenario, the differences between the

results given by SIGMA/W and SEEP/W mainly depend on the recalculation of the

hydraulic conductivity because of the changes in effective stress. Nevertheless, it’s

important to understand that for other configurations, the effect of the decrease in pore

water pressure because of the decrease in total stress could be much more important

than the effect of the increase in hydraulic conductivity, as it will be demonstrated in the

next chapter.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W hydraulic conductivity

sensitivity analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for

each observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the

total head fields at the end of the simulation for the K max and K min scenarios are

presented in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Hydraulic Conductivity Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-10 ; 1.0E-08 ; 1.0E-06 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 1.2E-06 to 1.2E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

The sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W in relation to the hydraulic conductivity

shows an important dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the

mentioned parameter and important differences with respect to the results given by

SEEP/W. The hydrographs calculated by SIGMA/W for the K max scenario, presented in

Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, show that increasing the hydraulic conductivity

two orders of magnitude implies a much more depressurized aquifer, with total

depressurization depths that are slightly higher than the ones calculated by SEEP/W,

showing both models in general terms similar behaviors. The slightly different total head

evolution is explained mainly because of the recalculation of the hydraulic conductivity

performed by SIGMA/W. Nevertheless, a totally different result is observed when the

hydraulic conductivity is decreased two orders of magnitude, showing SIGMA/W’s

hydrographs, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, an important

depressurization right beneath the excavation, with total depressurization depths of up to

620 m, 120 m more than the maximum depressurization depth calculated by SEEP/W,

which is equal to the total excavation depth below the water table, i.e. 500 m.

Additionally, it can be observed that for SIGMA/W’s K min scenario no recovery of the

pore water pressure happens after the initial instantaneous drop associated to the

imposition of each excavation. The differences in the total head field at the end of the

simulation period of each scenario can be observed in Figures X.X and X.X of the

Appendix B.

Page 38 of 45

The results given by SIGMA/W’s and SEEP/W’s K min scenario can be considered as

the most important results of the whole set of simulations. In one hand, it can be

concluded that for a strictly hydraulic model decreasing the hydraulic conductivity always

reduces the depressurization, meantime for a hydro-geomechanical coupled model

decreasing the hydraulic conductivity below certain value can considerably increase the

depressurization right beneath the excavation. This leads to the conclusion that trying to

model a highly hydro-geomechanical coupled scenario by using a strictly hydraulic

model with adjusted bands of increased hydraulic conductivity will be most likely wrong.

The only hydro-geomechanical coupled effect that could be represented using this

approach is that of the dependency of the hydraulic conductivity with the effective stress

or fracture size.

The results given by SIGMA/W’s K min scenario are also useful to understand how to

identify a highly hydro-geomechanical coupled scenario using the piezometric

information. As it can be noticed in the hydrographs calculated by SIGMA/W for the K

min scenario, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, the pore water

pressure doesn’t change in-between excavations, which means that it doesn’t show the

rebound effect that can be appreciated in certain sensors of SIGMA/W’s base case

scenario, nor the continuously decreasing total heads that can be appreciated in each

and every simulation done with SEEP/W. Nevertheless, one must take into account that

reality is much more complex than this generic model, and that different excavations

might happen at the same time at different locations, and that manmade drainage

systems might exist. At the same time, one must also take into account the coupling

effects associated to the dependency of the hydraulic conductivity with the effective

stress or fracture size, which aren’t associated to the rebound reaction of the pore water

pressure.

Finally, because of the considerably influence of the hydraulic conductivity in the results

given by SIGMA/W, it can be concluded that in order to build a consistent numerical

model it’s extremely important to have a robust conceptual model with well estimated

hydraulic conductivities, especially beneath the excavation.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W specific yield

sensitivity analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for

each observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the

total head fields at the end of the simulation for the Sy max and Sy min scenarios are

presented in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Specific Yield Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.1% ; 0.5% ; 3% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 1.2E-06 to 1.2E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

Page 39 of 45

The sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W in relation to the specific yield shows a

dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the mentioned parameter

that is much less important than the one associated to the hydraulic conductivity, which

doesn’t mean that the specific yield should be considered as an irrelevant parameter. In

particular, in the hydrographs presented in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B, one

can notice an important relationship between the specific yield and the depressurization

rate, especially right beneath excavation at the beginning of the simulation. This

behavior is explained by the fact that the specific yield determines the amount of water

that is available for filling the pores of the regions that suffered some degree of

expansion due to the decrement in effective stress and also for reestablishing the

pressures in the regions that suffered a decrement in the part of the volumetric water

content that is associated to the specific storage. Additionally, the specific yield

determines the amount of water that needs to be drained during the depressurization

process. The differences in the total head field at the end of the simulation period of

each scenario can be observed in Figures X.X and X.X of the Appendix B.

The specific storage is a derived parameter in SIGMA/W’s formulation, reason why no

sensitivity analysis was performed with respect to it. The way in which SIGMA/W

calculates the specific storage is explained in detail in chapter 4.1.2.2, equations 12 to

16.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W Young’s modulus

sensitivity analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for

each observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the

total head fields at the end of the simulation for the E max and E min scenarios are

presented in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Young’s Modulus Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 8.4E-07 to 5.9E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 1 to 10 ; 5 to 50 ; 10 to 70 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.3

The sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W in relation to the Young’s modulus

shows a dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the mentioned

parameter that could be considered important for certain scenarios, especially when the

Young’s modulus is considerably low. In that sense, the hydrographs calculated by

SIGMA/W for the E max scenario, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B,

are very similar to the ones calculated by SIGMA/W for the base case scenario, which

means that, for the given settings of the generic model, increasing the Young’s modulus

over the values defined for the base case scenario doesn’t have major consequences in

Page 40 of 45

the results. Nevertheless, decreasing the Young’s modulus below the values defined for

the base case scenario has major consequences in the evolution of the pore water

pressure, which can be observed in the hydrographs calculated by SIGMA/W for the E

min scenario, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, that show

depressurization depths at the end of the simulation of up to 600 m, 100 m more than

the maximum depressurization depth calculated by SEEP/W, which is equal to the total

excavation depth below the water table, i.e. 500 m. The differences in the total head field

at the end of the simulation period of each scenario can be observed in Figures X.X and

X.X of the Appendix B.

Finally, it’s important to make clear that the values of the Young’s modulus chosen for

the E min scenario are relatively low and very unlikely to happen in granite rock type of

excavations. Nevertheless, if a set of hydraulic and geomechanical parameters different

to the one chosen for the base case scenario is considered, higher Young’s moduli than

the ones considered for the E min scenario could also generate a highly hydro-

geomechanical coupled response. In that sense, the final conclusion is that the Young’s

modulus is a parameter that must be considered important at the moment of evaluating

the need of using a hydro-geomechanical coupled code, especially when its

characteristic values below the excavation are relatively low.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W Poisson’s ratio

sensitivity analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for

each observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the

total head fields at the end of the simulation for the max and min scenarios are

presented in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Poisson’s Ratio Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 7.8E-07 to 1.6E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.1 ; 0.2 ; 0.3

Load response ratio () 0.3

The sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W in relation to the Poisson’s ratio shows

a dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the mentioned parameter

that is less important than the one observed for the Young’s modulus sensitivity analysis,

which doesn’t mean that the Poisson’s ratio should be considered as an irrelevant

parameter. This behavior is explained by the fact that the reasonable range in which the

Poisson’s ratio can vary is much narrower than the one associated to the Young’s

modulus, and that both parameters affect the calculations in a similar way by modifying

the Bulk modulus of the material, which is given by equations 9 and 10. In that sense,

decreasing the Poisson’s ratio makes the material less rigid, and hence, increases the

resulting depressurization depths. The hydrographs calculated by SIGMA/W for the

Poisson’s ratio sensitivity analysis are presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix

Page 41 of 45

B, meantime the differences in the total head field at the end of the simulation period of

each scenario can be observed in Figures X.X and X.X of the Appendix B.

The hydraulic and geotechnical parameters used for the SIGMA/W load response ratio

sensitivity analysis are presented in Table X.X, meantime the resulting hydrographs for

each observation well are shown in Figures X.X to X.X from the Appendix B. Finally, the

total head fields at the end of the simulation for the LRR max and LRR min scenarios are

presented in Figures X.X and X.X from the Appendix B, respectively.

Table X.X Parameter used for the SIGMA/W Load Response Ratio Sensitivity Analysis

Parameter Value Observation

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s) 1.0E-08 Variable w/ saturation and effective stress.

Specific yield (%) 0.5% Variable storage w/ saturation .

Specific storage (1/m) 5.9E-06 to 3.5E-05 Derived from LRR, E and .

Young's modulus (GPa) 5 to 50 Variable w/ effective stress.

Poisson's ratio () 0.2

Load response ratio () 0.1 ; 0.3 ; 0.6

The sensitivity analysis performed with SIGMA/W in relation to the Load Response Ratio

shows an important dependency of the depressurization process with respect to the

mentioned parameter. In that sense, the hydrographs calculated by SIGMA/W for the

LRR max scenario, presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, show that

increasing the Load Response Ratio from 0.3 to 0.6 implies instantaneous initial drops in

pore water pressure at the beginning of each excavation of around 80 m for the sensors

located right beneath the excavation, which is twice the value associated to SIGMA/W’s

base case scenario, i.e 40 m. In the other hand, decreasing the Load Response Ratio

from 0.3 to 0.1 implies instantaneous initial drops in pore water pressure of around 14 m,

which is also consistent with the adopted values for the specific weight of the soil (26.5

kN/m3), and depth of each excavation step (50 m).

In addition to affecting the instantaneous initial drop in pore water pressure, modifying

the Load Response Ratio has also an important global effect on the specific storage

coefficient which is a derived parameter in SIGMA/W’s formulation that depends on the

LRR, the Young’s modulus and the Poisson’s ratio. In that sense, decreasing the LRR to

a value of 0.1 increases the specific storage coefficient to values in between 3.5E-06

and 3.5E-05, which explains why the hydrographs of SIGMA/W’s LRR min scenario,

presented in Figures X.X to X.X of the Appendix B, show a particularly slow

depressurization process in its deeper sensors.

Finally, it’s important to understand that the relative importance that the instantaneous

initial decrease in pore water pressure will have in the global evolution of the total heads

will depend on the velocity with which the system approaches its state of equilibrium,

which depends mainly on the hydraulic conductivity and the storage parameters.

Page 42 of 45

3.2. CASE STUDY

To define

4. RECOMMENDATIONS

using a 2D generic model of an open pit excavation which was designed considering information of

previous pit dewatering projects developed by Schlumberger Water Services. These two software have

considerably different approaches for solving the hydro-geomechanical coupled problem. In one hand,

SIGMA/W utilizes a fully hydro-geomechanical coupled formulation, which allows to reproduce the

coupled effects associated to the changes in hydraulic conductivity produced by the deformation of the

soil, and also the effects that are directly associated to the changes in the porosity or fracture aperture,

such as the undrained response. In the other hand, PETREL-ECLIPSE-VISAGE utilizes a partially coupled

formulation that only allows to reproduce the effects associated to the changes in the hydraulic

conductivity, which is considered an important disadvantage given that the evolution of the pore water

pressure might be strongly influenced by the undrained response for certain scenarios.

The benchmark performed with SIGMA/W shows that the change in hydraulic conductivity produced by

the deformation of the rock had always a measurable effect on the evolution of the pore water pressure

for each and every run of the model independent of the chosen hydraulic and geomechanical

parameters. In that sense, for each run an increase in the hydraulic conductivity was observed right

beneath the open pit, which ultimately lead to an acceleration of the depressurization process.

Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that the relevance of this coupled effect depends on the

adopted function for relating the deformation of the soil with the hydraulic conductivity, which in this

case was given by Carlsson and Olson (1977).

At the same time, the results given by SIGMA/W’s benchmark process shows that the coupled effects

associated to the undrained response might have an important influence in the evolution of the pore

water pressure for certain scenarios, being the most determinant parameters the hydraulic conductivity

and the bulk modulus of the rock. In that sense, an acceleration of the depressurization process was

observed when the hydraulic conductivity was decreased below certain critical value, which depends on

mainly on the bulk modulus of the rock. Using the generic model it was determined that values for the

hydraulic conductivity of around 1.0E-08 to 5.0E-09 m/s lead to the appearance of a measurable

undrained response for the base case scenario, meantime values of around 1.0E-09 m/s were needed to

obtain an undrained response in the E max scenario. With that in mind, one can conclude that the

effects associated to an undrained response might begin to be important with certainty for values of the

hydraulic conductivity of around 1.0E-09 m/s, and most likely for values of around 1.0E-08 m/s.

Page 43 of 45

Page 44 of 45

APPENDIX A SOFTWARE DOCUMENTATION

Petrel

Eclipse

Visage

Seep/W

Sigma/W

Sensitivity Matrix

Hydrographs

Total head fields

Figures, Tables, Graphs

APPENDIX D WORKFLOWS

Sigma Workflow, Thomas & Ulrich

Petrel,Eclipse, Visage Workflow: Gareth & Ulrich

Page 45 of 45

## Viel mehr als nur Dokumente.

Entdecken, was Scribd alles zu bieten hat, inklusive Bücher und Hörbücher von großen Verlagen.

Jederzeit kündbar.