Project R-8594

Title

VisioFlow: Deriving advanced mathematical models for two-phase flow through porous sedimentary rocks by visualization of experiments at the pore-scale

Abstract

Many important questions appearing in the geology are related to the understanding of fluid flow through the pores of geological materials (rocks, sediments and soils) and deriving appropriate mathematical models valid at laboratory or field scales. Often, these questions involve the flow of two (or more) fluids which do not mix, in which case their behavior is determined by the movement of the interfaces separating the fluids at the microscopic scale of the pores. The current lack of understanding of the dynamics of these interfaces at the scale of pores impedes the derivation of accurate models at the larger scales. This lack of knowledge impacts significantly the access to clean drinking water, the protection and remediation of soil towards pollution, the enhanced geothermal energy generation, the production and storage of hydrocarbons, and various other processes related to the industrial use of porous materials. This pleads for a rational mathematical approach, based on upscaling of the models developed at the pore scale which incorporate various characteristics that can be observed and measured there. The objective of this research proposal is to develop reliable, experimentally-driven mathematical models for two-phase flow through geological media, by combining pore scale visualization experiments with mathematical modeling and upscaling techniques. The key challenges in this proposal will be the characterization, modeling and upscaling of the behavior of the fluid interfaces (notably wettability) throughout geological materials.

Period of project

01 January 2018 - 31 December 2021