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Title: Automated contact angle estimation for three-dimensional X-ray microtomography data

Multiphase flow in capillary regimes is a fundamental process in a number of geoscience applications. The ability to accurately define wetting characteristics of porous media can have a large impact on numerical models. In this paper, a newly developed automated three-dimensional contact angle algorithm is described and applied to high-resolution X-ray microtomography data from multiphase bead pack experiments with varying wettability characteristics. The algorithm calculates the contact angle by finding the angle between planes fit to each solid/fluid and fluid/fluid interface in the region surrounding each solid/fluid/fluid contact point. Results show that the algorithm is able to reliably compute contact angles using the experimental data. The in situ contact angles are typically larger than flat surface laboratory measurements using the same material. Furthermore, wetting characteristics in mixed-wet systems also change significantly after displacement cycles.
 [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. The Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0309-1708; PII: S0309170815002651
Grant/Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000; SC0006883
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advances in Water Resources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0309-1708
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 58 GEOSCIENCES; contact angle; multiphase; wettability; X-ray microtomography
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1327444