The competition between gravity and flow focusing in two-layered porous media

Huppert, Herbert E. and Neufeld, Jerome A. and Strandkvist, Charlotte (2013) The competition between gravity and flow focusing in two-layered porous media. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 720. pp. 5-14. ISSN 0022-1120, ESSN: 1469-7645 DOI

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The gravitationally driven flow of a dense fluid within a two-layered porous media is examined experimentally and theoretically. We find that in systems with two horizontal layers of differing permeability a competition between gravity driven flow and flow focusing along high-permeability routes can lead to two distinct flow regimes. When the lower layer is more permeable than the upper layer, gravity acts along high-permeability pathways and the flow is enhanced in the lower layer. Alternatively, when the upper layer is more permeable than the lower layer, we find that for a sufficiently small input flux the flow is confined to the lower layer. However, above a critical flux fluid preferentially spreads horizontally within the upper layer before ultimately draining back down into the lower layer. This later regime, in which the fluid overrides the low-permeability lower layer, is important because it enhances the mixing of the two fluids. We show that the critical flux which separates these two regimes can be characterized by a simple power law. Finally, we briefly discuss the relevance of this work to the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide and other industrial and natural flows in porous media.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2013 Cambridge University Press
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2013AREP; IA65;
Subjects: 99 - Other
Divisions: 99 - Other
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume: 720
Page Range: pp. 5-14
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2013 12:16
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2014 11:42

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