While significant progress has been made regarding fluid flow and solute transport behavior in non-fracture-based reservoirs, relatively little advancements have been made regarding transport in fractured formations, despite their importance for geothermal energy, geological waste disposal, and oil and gas production.The main goal of this PhD project is to investigate solute transport with fluid/solute channeling and/or hydraulic trapping within fractures and, particularly, within fracture intersections. The project focuses on solute mixing behaviors at fracture intersections. Synthetic bifurcating fractures produced by a 3D printer will be used together with the analogue (i.e., surrogate) fluid(s) to match the refractive index of printed solid. The project combines Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) with Laser-induced Fluorescence (LIF) to simultaneously monitor the fluid velocity field and the associated solute concentration field in 3D.
The PhD candidate is offered a one-year fulltime position with -at good performance- the prospect of an extension with a maximum of three years (in total 4 years fulltime). Benefits, working hours, salary, insurance and pension are subject to ETH Zurich standards.