Gravity-destabilized nonwetting phase invasion in macro-heterogeneous porous media: Experimental observations of invasion dynamics and scale analysis

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The authors designed and conducted experiments in a heterogeneous sand pack where gravity-destabilized nonwetting phase invasion (CO{sub 2} and TCE) could be recorded using high resolution light transmission methods. The heterogeneity structure was designed to be reminiscent of fluvial channel lag cut-and-fill architecture and contain a series of capillary barriers. As invasion progressed, nonwetting phase structure developed a series of fingers and pools; behind the growing front they found nonwetting phase saturation to pulsate in certain regions when viscous forces were low. Through a scale analysis, they derive a series of length scales that describe finger diameter, pool height and ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 66 pages

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GLASS JR.,ROBERT J.; CONRAD,STEPHEN H. & PEPLINSKI,WILLIAM J. February 16, 1999.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The authors designed and conducted experiments in a heterogeneous sand pack where gravity-destabilized nonwetting phase invasion (CO{sub 2} and TCE) could be recorded using high resolution light transmission methods. The heterogeneity structure was designed to be reminiscent of fluvial channel lag cut-and-fill architecture and contain a series of capillary barriers. As invasion progressed, nonwetting phase structure developed a series of fingers and pools; behind the growing front they found nonwetting phase saturation to pulsate in certain regions when viscous forces were low. Through a scale analysis, they derive a series of length scales that describe finger diameter, pool height and width, and regions where pulsation occurs within a heterogeneous porous medium. In all cases, they find that the intrinsic pore scale nature of the invasion process and resulting structure must be incorporated into the analysis to explain experimental results. The authors propose a simple macro-scale structural growth model that assembles length scales for sub-structures to delineate nonwetting phase migration from a source into a heterogeneous domain. For such a model applied at the field scale for DNAPL migration, they expect capillary and gravity forces within the complex subsurface lithology to play the primary roles with viscous forces forming a perturbation on the inviscid phase structure.

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Medium: P; Size: 66 pages

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OSTI as DE00751261

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  • Journal Name: Water Resources Research; Other Information: Submitted to Water Resources Research

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  • Report No.: SAND2000-0440J
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 751261
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc711200

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 16, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 11, 2016, 5:55 p.m.

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GLASS JR.,ROBERT J.; CONRAD,STEPHEN H. & PEPLINSKI,WILLIAM J. Gravity-destabilized nonwetting phase invasion in macro-heterogeneous porous media: Experimental observations of invasion dynamics and scale analysis, article, February 16, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc711200/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.