Gravity currents in a porous medium at an inclined plane.

Vella, D. and Huppert, H. E. (2006) Gravity currents in a porous medium at an inclined plane. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 555. pp. 353-362. DOI

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We consider the release from a point source of relatively heavy fluid into a porous saturated medium above an impermeable slope. We consider the case where the volume of the resulting gravity current increases with time like tα and show that for α<3 at short times the current spreads axisymmetrically, with radius r ∼t (α+1)/4, while at long times it spreads predominantly downslope. In particular, for long times the downslope position of the current scales like t while the current extends a distance t α/3 across the slope. For α>3, this situation is reversed with spreading occurring predominantly downslope for short times. The governing equations admit similarity solutions whose scaling behaviour we determine, with the full similarity form being evaluated by numerical computations of the governing partial differential equation. We find that the results of these analyses are in good quantitative agreement with a series of laboratory experiments. Finally, we discuss the implications of our work for the sequestration of carbon dioxide in aquifers with a sloping, impermeable cap.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2006 AREP 2006 P IA51
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume: 555
Page Range: pp. 353-362
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:04
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08

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