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By Oagile Dikinya

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6. As a nature of the homogenized equivalent continuum approach, the size effect of fractures, especially the size-dependency of aperture, is not fully considered in the formulation of K for simplicity, even though it can be reflected to some degree through ς and scaled JRC and JCS values. The connectivity and the intersection effect of fractures, on the other hand, may have a more significant influence on K, but similarly, they cannot be properly considered in the equivalent continua without explicit representation of fractures.

90°), they are, respectively, within 2 and 5 times of the tunnel radius. The asymmetry of deformation zone and plastic zone demonstrates why the predicted hydraulic conductivities approach k0 more slowly in the horizontal direction than in the vertical direction. The changes in hydraulic conductivities resulted from strain redistribution in the disturbed rock mass indicate that a different hydraulic conductivity tensor should be associated to each geological sub-domain or even each element of the rock mass, which is important for hydro-mechanical coupling analyses.

Then, a calibration procedure is invoked to check whether the generated model satisfies the distribution mode of the real fracture network. If doesn’t, the fracture network will be regenerated until one matches the distribution mode. With the generated fracture network, the actual connectivity can be computed by spatial operation on the fractures. But for calibrated fracture network, a more convenient approximate approach to determine the connectivity of the fracture network, as it is adopted here, is to directly produce ξij in Eq.

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