Particle sorting in Filter Porous Media and in Sediment Transport: A Numerical and Experimental Study

Friday, 19 December 2014: 10:50 AM
Lee G Glascoe1, Souheil M Ezzedine2, Yuliya Kanarska1, Ilya Lomov1, Tarabay Antoun1, Jarell Smith3, Robert Hall3 and Stand Woodson3, (1)Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, United States, (2)Univ California LLNL, Livermore, CA, United States, (3)USACE-ERDC Information Technology Laboratory, Vicksburg, MS, United States
Understanding the flow of fines, particulate sorting in porous media and fractured media during sediment transport is significant for industrial, environmental, geotechnical and petroleum technologies to name a few. For example, the safety of dam structures requires the characterization of the granular filter ability to capture fine-soil particles and prevent erosion failure in the event of an interfacial dislocation. Granular filters are one of the most important protective design elements of large embankment dams. In case of cracking and erosion, if the filter is capable of retaining the eroded fine particles, then the crack will seal and the dam safety will be ensured. Here we develop and apply a numerical tool to thoroughly investigate the migration of fines in granular filters at the grain scale. The numerical code solves the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations and uses a Lagrange multiplier technique. The numerical code is validated to experiments conducted at the USACE and ERDC. These laboratory experiments on soil transport and trapping in granular media are performed in constant-head flow chamber filled with the filter media. Numerical solutions are compared to experimentally measured flow rates, pressure changes and base particle distributions in the filter layer and show good qualitative and quantitative agreement. To further the understanding of the soil transport in granular filters, we investigated the sensitivity of the particle clogging mechanism to various parameters such as particle size ratio, the magnitude of hydraulic gradient, particle concentration, and grain-to-grain contact properties. We found that for intermediate particle size ratios, the high flow rates and low friction lead to deeper intrusion (or erosion) depths. We also found that the damage tends to be shallower and less severe with decreasing flow rate, increasing friction and concentration of suspended particles. We have extended these results to more realistic heterogeneous population particulates for sediment transport.

This work performed under the auspices of the US DOE by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 and was sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency.