Research Topic

Flow and Transformations in Porous Media

About this Research Topic

Fluid flow in evolving porous rocks, fracture networks and granular media is subject to considerable current interdisciplinary research activity in Physics, Earth Sciences and Engineering. Examples of natural and engineered processes include hydrocarbon recovery, carbon dioxide geo-sequestration, soil ...

Fluid flow in evolving porous rocks, fracture networks and granular media is subject to considerable current interdisciplinary research activity in Physics, Earth Sciences and Engineering. Examples of natural and engineered processes include hydrocarbon recovery, carbon dioxide geo-sequestration, soil drying/wetting, pollution remediation, soil liquefaction, landslides, dynamics of wet or dry granular media, dynamics of faulting or friction, volcanic eruptions, gas venting in sediments, ore deposit development and radioactive waste disposal. Hydrodynamic flow instabilities and pore scale disorder typically result in complex flow patterning. In transforming media, additional mechanisms come into play: Compaction/de-compaction, erosion, segregation and fracturing lead to local changes in permeability over time. Dissolution, precipitation and chemical reactions between solutes and solid may gradually alter the composition and structure of the solid matrix, either creating or destroying permeable paths for fluid flow. A complex, dynamic feedback thus arises where, on the one hand, the fluid flow affects the characteristics of the solid medium, and on the other hand the changing medium influences the fluid flow. Such feedbacks between flow of fluids and the media in which they flow are important in both slowly deforming porous media such as hydrocarbon reservoirs and aquifers, and in very rapidly evolving porous/granular media such as liquefying soils or rapidly flowing grain-fluid mixtures in debris flows.

In this Research Topic, we aim to gather and review the research community’s accomplishments to date on the topic of flow and transformation in porous/granular media, as well as present original research illustrating the depth and breadth of ongoing work in this diverse and interdisciplinary field. We also welcome contributions outlining perspectives for future work and opportunities in this area.


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