National Research Program

Transport Phenomena in Fractured Rock

There has been an increasing awareness that in many circumstances the theories associated with the description of hydrogeologic phenomena in granular porous media are unacceptable in the description of these same phenomena in fractured rock and geologic formations having similar characteristics. Due to the wide extent that fractured formations naturally occur and have been utilized for various purposes by man, including proposed repositories for radioactive water, there exists a need to describe and better understand the physics of fluid movement, deformation, contaminant migration and energy transport under the broad range of physical situations where fractured formations exist. Since the description of fractured rock is highly dependent on the scale at which one chooses to observe it, it is necessary to develop mathematical models of transport phenomena in fractured rock under alternative conceptualizations of the medium. A portion of this study shall be devoted to the development of these models and an investigation of the parameters which arise. In addition, physical situations where each conceptualization is applicable, and the adaptability of field measurements to these conceptualizations shall be evaluated.


Shapiro, A.M., 2011, The challenge of interpreting environmental tracer concentrations in fractured rock and carbonate aquifers: Hydrogeology Journal, v. 19, no. 1, p. 9-12. (on-line article in pdf format, 80.4 KB, published by Springer)

Wellman, T.P., Shapiro, A.M., and Hill, M.C., 2009, Effects of Simplifying Fracture Network Representation on Inert Chemical Migration in Fracture-Controlled Aquifers , Water Resources Research, v. 45, W01416, doi:10.1029/2008WR007025. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Gebrekristos, R.A., Shapiro, A.M., and Usher, B.H., 2008, In situ estimation of the effective chemical diffusion coefficient of a rock matrix in a fractured aquifer: Hydrogeology Journal, v. 16, no. 4, page 629-639. DOI: 0.1007/s10040-007-0255-0 (on-line abstract of journal article)

Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Shapiro, A.M., Renken, R.A., Osborn, C.L., Ryan, J.N., Cunningham, K.J., and Landkamer, L., 2008, Pathogen and Chemical Transport in the Karst Limestone of the Biscayne Aquifer: 3. Use of Microspheres to Estimate the Transport Potential of Cryptosporidium Parvum Oocysts: Water Resources Research, v. 44, W08431, doi:10.1029/2007WR006060. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Renken, R.A., Cunningham, K.J., Shapiro, A.M., Harvey, R.W., Zygnerski, M.R., Metge, D.W., and Wacker, M.A., 2008, Pathogen and Chemical Transport in the Karst Limestone of the Biscayne Aquifer: 1. Revised Conceptualization of Groundwater Flow: Water Resources Research, v. 44, W08429, doi:10.1029/2007WR006058. (on-line abstract or on line paper in pdf format, 1347 KB, published by American Geophysical Union, not subject to U.S. copyright)

Shapiro, A.M., Renken, R.A., Harvey, R.W., Zygnerski, M.R., and Metge, D.W., 2008, Pathogen and Chemical Transport in the Karst Limestone of the Biscayne Aquifer: 2. Chemical Retention from Diffusion and Slow Advection , Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, W08430, doi:10.1029/2007WR006059. (on-line abstract or on-line paper in pdf format, 1312 KB, published by American Geophysical Union, not subject to U.S. copyright

Goode, D.J., Tiedeman, C.R., Lacombe, P.J., Imbrigiotta, T.E., Shapiro, A.M., and Chapelle, F.H., 2007, Contamination in fractured-rock aquifers--Research at the Naval Air Warfare Center, West Trenton, New Jersey: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007-3074. (on-line abstract of on-line fact sheet in pdf format, 647 KB)

Shapiro, A.M., 2007, Publishing our "ugly babies": Ground Water, v. 45, p. 655.

Shapiro, A. M., 2007, Characterizing ground-water chemistry and hydraulic properties of fractured-rock aquifers using the multifunction bedrock-aquifer transportable testing tool (BAT3): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1134, 127 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 6.15 MB

Shapiro, A.M., Hsieh, P.A., Burton, W.C., and Walsh, G.J., 2007, Integrated multi-scale characterization of ground-water flow and chemical transport in fractured crystalline rock at the Mirror Lake Site, New Hampshire, in Hyndman, D.W., Day-Lewis, F.D., and Singha, K., eds., Subsurface Hydrology: Data Integration for Properties and Processes: American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph Series, v. 171, p. 201–225.

Winston, R. B., and Shapiro, A. M., 2007, BAT3 analyzer: Real time data display and interpretation software for the multifunction bedrock-aquifer transportable testing tool (BAT3); U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1105, 65 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 1.71 MB)

Cunningham, K. J., Renken, R. A., Wacker, M. A., Zygnerski, M. R., Robinson, E., Shapiro, A. M., and Wingard, G. L., 2006, Application of carbonate cyclostratigraphy and borehole geophysics to delineate porosity and preferential flow in the karst limestone of the Biscayne aquifer, SE Florida, in Harmon, R.S., and Wicks, C., eds., Perspectives on karst geomorphology, hydrology, and geochemistry - A tribute volume to Dereck C. Ford and William B. White: Geological Society of America Special Paper 404, Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, p. 191-208.

Renken, R.A., Cunningham, K.J., Zygnerski, M.R., Wacker, M.A., Shapiro, A.M., Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., Osborn, C.L., and Ryan, J.N., 2005, Assessing the vulnerability of a municipal well field to contamination in a karst aquifer: Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, v.11, no.4, p.319-331. (on-line abstract of journal article or on-line article in pdf format)

Becker, M.W., Collins, S.A., Metge, D.W., Harvey, R.W., and Shapiro, A.M., 2004, Effect of cell physicochemical characteristics and motility on bacterial transport in groundwater: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 69, nos. 3-4, p. 195-213. (on-line abstract)

Greene, E.A., Shapiro, A.M., LaMotte, A.E., 2004, Hydrogeologic controls on ground-water discharge to the Washington METRO subway tunnel near the Medical Center station and Crossover, Montgomery County, Maryland: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report: 03-4294, 33 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 4.3 MB)

Johnson, C., Haeni, F.P., and Shapiro, A., .2004, Integrated methods for characterizing a fractured-rock aquifer: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology News and Trends, no 10, p. 3-4. (on-line article)

Wood, W.W., Kraemer, T.F., and Shapiro, A., 2004, Radon (222Rn) in ground water of fractured rocks: A diffusion/ion exchange model: Ground Water, v. 42, p. 552-567. (on-line abstract)

Becker, M.W., Metge, D.W., Collins, S.A., Shapiro, A.M., and Harvey, R.W., 2003, Bacterial transport experiments in fractured crystalline bedrock: Ground Water, v. 41, p. 682 - 689. (on-line abstract)

Becker, M.W., and Shapiro, A.M., 2003, Interpreting tracer breakthrough tailing from different forced-gradient tracer experiment configurations in fractured bedrock: Water Resources Research, v. 39, no. 1, p. 14-1 - 14-13. (on-line abstract)

Allen M. Shapiro (professional profile)
U.S. Geological Survey, 431 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192
Telephone: 703-648-5884

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