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Title: A Unified Multi-Scale Model for Pore-Scale Flow Simulations in Soils

Pore-scale simulations have received increasing interest in subsurface sciences to provide mechanistic insights into the macroscopic phenomena of water flow and reactive transport processes. The application of the pore scale simulations to soils and sediments is, however, challenged because of the characterization limitation that often only allows partial resolution of pore structure and geometry. A significant proportion of the pore space in soils and sediments is below the spatial resolution, forming a mixed media of pore and porous domains. Here we reported a unified multi-scale model (UMSM) that can be used to simulate water flow and transport in mixed media of pore and porous domains under both saturated and unsaturated conditions. The approach modifies the classic Navier-Stokes equation by adding a Darcy term to describe fluid momentum and uses a generalized mass balance equation for saturated and unsaturated conditions. By properly defining physical parameters, the UMSM can be applied in both pore and porous domains. This paper describes the set of equations for the UMSM, a series of validation cases under saturated or unsaturated conditions, and a real soil case for the application of the approach.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
46906; KP1702010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 78(1):108-118
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
multi-scale simulation; porous media; pore-scale modeling; water saturation; computational fluid dynamics; soil systems; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory