A transport phase diagram for pore-level correlated porous media

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Abstract

Transport in porous media is often characterized by the advection–dispersion equation, with the dispersion coefficient as the most important parameter that links the hydrodynamics to the transport processes. Morphological properties of any porous medium, such as pore size distribution, network topology, and correlation length control transport. In this study we explore the impact of correlation length on transport regime using pore-network modelling. Earlier direct simulation studies of dispersion in carbonate and sandstone rocks showed larger dispersion compared to granular homogenous sandpacks. However, in these studies, isolation of the impact of correlation length on transport regime was not possible due to the fundamentally different pore morphologies and pore-size distributions. Against this limitation, we simulate advection–dispersion transport for a wide range of Péclet numbers in unstructured irregular networks with “different” correlation lengths but “identical” pore size distributions and pore morphologies. Our simulation results show an increase in the magnitudes of the estimated dispersion coefficients in correlated networks compared to uncorrelated ones in the advection-controlled regime. The range of the Péclet numbers which dictate mixed advection–diffusion regime considerably reduces in the correlated networks. The findings emphasize the critical role of correlation length which is depicted in a conceptual transport phase diagram and the importance of accounting for the micro-scale correlation lengths into predictive stochastic pore-scale modelling.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Volume92
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

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