The invited ALERT Special Lecture during the ALERT Workshop 2017 will be presented by Prof. William G. Gray from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and University of Vermont, Burlington. The envisaged title of his talk is Systematic Description of Multiphase Flow in Porous Media. Find the abstract below.
The mathematical description of the behavior of the fluid and solid phases in porous media systems has evolved over the last 150 years primarily in concert with, and as limited by, experimental capabilities to measure physical system features. More recent theoretical approaches have advocated derivation of governing equations based on conservation and thermodynamic relations and rigorous mathematical tools. The resulting governing equations confirm that standard models are significant simplifications of more general equations. A more complete and consistent set of model equations includes dependence on parameters and quantities that are inaccessible using older experimental approaches. The extended theories, which include quantities such as interfacial areas per volume and which recognize the formation of disconnected phases, make demands on experimentalists to develop methods for accessing time-dependent deformation and distribution of phases in a system. The needed expertise is not to mine data in an effort to come up with correlations that describe the system behavior but to use the data to determine coefficient and function values in derived equations. Concurrently, access to advanced supercomputers provides the ability to simulate multiphase flows within porous systems at an intrapore scale. Knowledge gained from highly resolved studies sets the stage for supporting larger scale models of real systems. The recognition of the importance of phase distributions within a system provides a challenge both in simulating these distributions at a manageable scale and in parameterizing the models of the transient distributions. Here, we will highlight some of the challenges and opportunities for advancing physically-based, systematic theoretical descriptions of multiphase flow in porous media for practical usage.