An analysis of gas tightness around unlined storage cavern using a discrete fracture flow FEM model

Seung Hoon Ra, Won Mo Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Water curtain method has been utilized to prevent the escape of gas from storage caverns excavated in the rock. The water curtain method appears to be increasingly used in various forms of storage caverns. Fluid flow in crystalline fractured rock where most of water curtains are constructed is basically controlled by the geometry of fracture network and the properties of the individual fracture. The concept of discrete fracture flow is more appropriate approach for analyzing the stability of water curtain system. In order to analyze the groundwater flow in fracture network, we have developed an unsteady state discrete fracture flowing FEM simulator and have applied it to underground LPG storage facilities at Ulsan, Korea. In this site the hydraulic head of observation well Y was monitored as −7.5 m. With the continuum model concept for the fractured rock the hydraulic head of well Y was calculated as −18.62 m, whereas −4 m was estimated with discrete fracture flow model. The result showed that the discrete fracture flow model was more reasonable for the analysis of groundwater flow in fractured rock than the continuum model concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalGeosystem Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov



  • Discrete fracture network
  • FEM simulator
  • Gas tightness
  • Storage cavern
  • Unsteady state
  • Water curtain

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