Modeling the Impact of Deformation on Unstable Miscible Displacements in Porous Media

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
David Santillán1 and Luis Cueto-Felgueroso1,2, (1)Technical University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain, (2)Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States
Coupled flow and geomechanics is a critical research challenge in engineering and the geosciences. The simultaneous flow of two or more fluids with different densities or viscosities through deformable media is ubiquitous in environmental, industrial, and biological processes, including the removal of non-aqueous phase liquids from underground water bodies, the geological storage of CO2, and current challenges in energy technologies, such as enhanced geothermal systems, unconventional hydrocarbon resources or enhanced oil recovery techniques.

Using numerical simulation, we study the interplay between viscous-driven flow instabilities (viscous fingering) and rock mechanics, and elucidate the structure of the displacement patterns as a function of viscosity contrast, injection rate and rock mechanical properties. Finally, we discuss the role of medium deformation on transport and mixing processes in porous media.