EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF RELATIVE PERMEABILITY UPSCALING FROM THE MICRO-SCALE TO THE MACRO-SCALE
EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF RELATIVE PERMEABILITY UPSCALING FROM THE MICRO-SCALE TO THE MACRO-SCALE The principal challenge of upscaling techniques for multi-phase fluid dynamics in porous media is to determine which properties on the micro-scale can be used to predict macroscopic flow and spatial distribution of phases at core- and field-scales. The most notable outcome of recent theories is the identification of interfacial areas per volume for multiple phases as a fundamental parameter that determines much of the multi-phase properties of the porous medium. A formal program of experimental research was begun to directly test upscaling theories in fluid flow through porous media by comparing measurements of relative permeability and capillary-saturation with measurements of interfacial area per volume. During this reporting period, we have shown experimentally and theoretically that the optical coherence imaging system is optimized for sandstone. The measurement of interfacial area per volume (IAV), capillary pressure and saturation in two dimensional micro-models structures that are statistically similar to real porous media has shown the existence of a unique relationship among these hydraulic parameters. The measurement of interfacial area per volume on a three-dimensional natural sample, i.e., sandstone, has the same length-scale as the values of IAV determined for the two-dimensional micro-models.
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