Interface pinning of immiscible gravity-exchange flows in porous media

Zhao, Benzhong and MacMinn, Christopher W. and Szulczewski, Michael L. and Neufeld, Jerome A. and Huppert, Herbert E. and Juanes, Ruben (2013) Interface pinning of immiscible gravity-exchange flows in porous media. Physical Review E, 87 (2). 023015. ISSN ISSN: 1539-3755, ESSN: 1550-2376 DOI

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We study the gravity-exchange flow of two immiscible fluids in a porous medium and show that, in contrast with the miscible case, a portion of the initial interface remains pinned at all times. We elucidate, by means of micromodel experiments, the pore-level mechanism responsible for capillary pinning at the macroscale. We propose a sharp-interface gravity-current model that incorporates capillarity and quantitatively explains the experimental observations, including the x∼t1/2 spreading behavior at intermediate times and the fact that capillarity stops a finite-release current. Our theory and experiments suggest that capillary pinning is potentially an important, yet unexplored, trapping mechanism during CO2 sequestration in deep saline aquifers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©2013 American Physical Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2013AREP; IA65;
Subjects: 99 - Other
Divisions: 99 - Other
Journal or Publication Title: Physical Review E
Volume: 87
Page Range: 023015
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2013 20:12
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:05

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