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Title: On the consistency of scale among experiments, theory, and simulation

As a tool for addressing problems of scale, we consider an evolving approach known as the thermodynamically constrained averaging theory (TCAT), which has broad applicability to hydrology. We consider the case of modeling of two-fluid-phase flow in porous media, and we focus on issues of scale as they relate to various measures of pressure, capillary pressure, and state equations needed to produce solvable models. We apply TCAT to perform physics-based data assimilation to understand how the internal behavior influences the macroscale state of two-fluid porous medium systems. A microfluidic experimental method and a lattice Boltzmann simulation method are used to examine a key deficiency associated with standard approaches. In a hydrologic process such as evaporation, the water content will ultimately be reduced below the irreducible wetting-phase saturation determined from experiments. This is problematic since the derived closure relationships cannot predict the associated capillary pressures for these states. Here, we demonstrate that the irreducible wetting-phase saturation is an artifact of the experimental design, caused by the fact that the boundary pressure difference does not approximate the true capillary pressure. Using averaging methods, we compute the true capillary pressure for fluid configurations at and below the irreducible wetting-phase saturation. Results of our analysismore » include a state function for the capillary pressure expressed as a function of fluid saturation and interfacial area.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
  2. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0002163; INCITE; AC05-00OR22725
Published Article
Journal Name:
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (Online); Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1607-7938
European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Research Org:
Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States); Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
13 HYDRO ENERGY; porous-medium systems; watershed thermodynamics; unifying framework; media; flow; hydrology; dispersion; turbulence; equations; history; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1356078; OSTI ID: 1358362