Estimation of effective parameters for a two-phase flow problem in non-Gaussian heterogeneous porous media

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Insa NeuweilerRainer Helmig


In this paper we discuss estimates of effective parameters for an upscaled model for buoyant counter flow of DNAPL and water in a closed box filled with heterogeneous porous material. The upscaling procedure is based on the assumption that the flow is dominated by capillary forces on the small scale and that the fluids are segregated. The upscaled model has the same form as the usual two-phase flow model with an effective capillary pressure function and an effective mobility function Λ. Effective parameters are then estimated in two different ways. Stochastic theory can be applied to calculate the effective parameters to first order in the parameter fluctuations. This approach does not take into account that different parameter ranges of the heterogeneous field may be connected or isolated, yielding very different macroscopic residual saturations. Therefore, the second estimate of effective parameters takes connectivity of parameter ranges into account. In this case, the univariate parameter distribution of the heterogeneous field and the values that mark connected materials are the only information about heterogeneity that is used. Effective parameters are then estimated using mean field theory (the Maxwell approach). The upsc...Continue Reading


Jun 22, 2010·Journal of Contaminant Hydrology·Marco DentzBranko Bijeljic

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