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Porous Media


High-fidelity simulations of groundwater flow provide valuable insights into many geologic phenomena important to the US Department of Energy, such as
  • determining the storage security of carbon sequestration,
  • monitoring contaminant behavior,
  • enhanced oil recovery.
Realizing this potential is challenging because simulations must
  • encapsulate a broad range of scales,
  • provide accurate treatments of multiphase, multicomponent flow in porous media,
  • involve a large number of reactive species to accurately represent real geochemical system.
Multiphase FlowCO2 sequestrationmultiscaleReactive Flow

movie of a 3D simulation
CO2 sequestration AMR Framework for Multicomponent Multiphase Reactive Flow

Adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) methods address the challenges outlined above:
  • Multiscale: resolves difference in length scales between flow regimes and time scales between flow and reaction.
  • Proven framework: reuse of core CCSE technologies reduces development efforts.
  • Parallelized codes: good behavior up to several thousands CPUs.
  • Improved resolution: significant gain compared to existing codes.
We use the total velocity splitting formulation and the discretization procedure reflects the mathematical properties of the governing equations.  Details can be found in Pau et al. (2009). [pdf]

Concentration of CO2
CO2 sequestration Carbon Dioxide Sequestration

In one scenario for carbon sequestration, CO2 is injected as a liquid phase into a saline aquifer. The liquid CO2 is lighter than the brine and floats on top of it in the aquifer. However, as the brine is enriched by diffusive mixing with CO2, it becomes denser than the fluid in the aquifer, inducing a buoyancy driven flow in the aquifer.  To better understand and characterize this process, we perform high resolution simulations that examine the transport mechanisms and provide accurate quantifications of integral measures such as onset time of convection and the long term stabilized mass flux.

Reactive Flow
CO2 sequestration Reactive Flow

Accurate modeling of reacting flow has many important ramifications in geologically important problems such as carbon sequestration and environmental remediation.  We have developed a second-order accurate adaptive scheme for the accurate simulation of reactive flow.  Geochemical systems are treated using the chemistry module of TOUGHREACT.  

For more information, please contact George Pau.

Relevant Publications

G. S. H. Pau, J. B. Bell, K. Pruess, A. S. Almgren, M. J. Lijewski, K. Zhang, "High resolution simulation and characterization of density-driven flow in CO2 storage in saline aquifers'', Advances in Water Resources , 33(4):443-455, 2010. [pdf]

G. S. H. Pau, J. B. Bell, K. Pruess, A. S. Almgren, M. J. Lijewski, K. Zhang, "Numerical studies of density-driven flow in CO2 storage in saline aquifers'', Proceedings of TOUGH Symposium, September 14-16 2009, Berkeley, California, USA. [pdf]

G. S. H. Pau, A. S. Almgren, J. B. Bell, M. J. Lijewski, E. Sonnenthal, N. Spycher, T. Xu, G. Zhang, "A Parallel Second-Order Adaptive Mesh Algorithm for Reactive Flow in Geochemical Systems", Proceedings of TOUGH Symposium, September 14-16 2009, Berkeley, California, USA. [pdf]

G. S. H. Pau, A. S. Almgren, J. B. Bell, and M. J. Lijewski, "A Parallel Second-Order Adaptive Mesh Algorithm for Incompressible Flow in Porous Media", Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2009. LBNL Report LBNL-176E. [pdf]

D.E.A. van Odyck, J.B. Bell, F. Monmont, N. Nikiforakis, "The mathematical structure of multiphase thermal models of flow in porous media", to appear in Proc. Royal Soc. A. [pdf]