Experimental tests of truncated diffusion in fault damage zones

Anna Suzuki, Toshiyuki Hashida, Kewen Li, Roland N. Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Fault zones affect the flow paths of fluids in groundwater aquifers and geological reservoirs. Fault-related fracture damage decreases to background levels with increasing distance from the fault core according to a power law. This study investigated mass transport in such a fault-related structure using nonlocal models. A column flow experiment is conducted to create a permeability distribution that varies with distance from a main conduit. The experimental tracer response curve is preasymptotic and implies subdiffusive transport, which is slower than the normal Fickian diffusion. If the surrounding area is a finite domain, an upper truncated behavior in tracer response (i.e., exponential decline at late times) is observed. The tempered anomalous diffusion (TAD) model captures the transition from subdiffusive to Fickian transport, which is characterized by a smooth transition from power-law to an exponential decline in the late-time breakthrough curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8578-8589
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1


  • fault damage zone
  • nonlocal model
  • tracer test
  • truncated distribution


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