Numerical Simulations of Two-Phase Flow in Rigid Porous Media

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Scheetz, Rebecca
Blast Densification; Energy Geotechnics; MATLAB; Multiphase Flow; Numerical Methods; Oil Recovery; Engineering; Geotechnical Engineering; Hydrology
thesis / dissertation description
This study concerns the development of a series of finite difference codes for solving one-dimensional two-phase flow problems. The ability to predict fluid movement in saturated and unsaturated soils is an important problem in many branches of science and engineering, including soil science, agricultural engineering, environmental engineering and groundwater hydrology. The research performed for this thesis is motivated by three main areas of study: blast densification in saturated sand, enhanced oil recovery and geothermal energy harvesting. This study models imbibition fronts in rigid porous skeleton resulting from varying boundary and initial conditions by solving governing equations for two-phase flow using the Picard and fourth-order Runge Kutta methods with finite difference spatial approximations. The numerical results were validated using experimental data from Melean et al. (2003) and Touma and Vauclin (1986). Results indicate that the numerical approximations yield accurate and practical estimations of the infiltration variables of interest.