Dense colloid transport in a bifurcating fracture

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In this work, the transport of dense colloids through a water-saturated, bifurcating fracture is investigated using a constant spatial step particle tracking technique. The size of the constituents of a colloid plume is an important factor affecting the partitioning of dense colloids at the bifurcation. While neutrally buoyant colloids partition between daughter fractures in proportion to flow rates, dense colloids will preferentially exit fractures that are gravitationally downgradient, notwithstanding that the majority of the interstitial fluid may flow through the upper fracture. Comparison of the partitioning ratio between daughter fractures with the ratios of characteristic settling, diffusion, and advection time reveal that these parameters control how colloids behave at fracture bifurcations.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2004


  • Bifurcation
  • Dense colloid transport
  • Fracture flow


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