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Coupled Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical Processes in Salt, Hot Granular Salt Consolidation, Constitutive Model and Micromechanics

The report addresses granular salt reconsolidation from three vantage points: laboratory testing, modeling, and petrofabrics. The experimental data 1) provide greater insight and understanding into the role of elevated temperature and pressure regimes on physical properties of reconsolidated crushed salt, 2) can supplement an existing database used to develop a reconsolidation constitutive model and 3) provide data for model evaluation. The constitutive model accounts for the effects of moisture through pressure solution and dislocation creep, with both terms dependent on effective stress to account for the effects of porosity. This provides insight into granular salt consolidation at elevated temperature and performance of granular salt in repository barriers.