Gravity Currents with Convective Mixing: High-resolution Numerical Simulations

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Denis Voskov, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States, Maria T Elenius, Tufts University, Medford, MA, United States and Hamdi Tchelepi, Stanford Earth Sciences, Stanford, CA, United States
Due to challenges in performing direct numerical simulations for gravity currents with convective mixing, different attempts have been made to simplify the problem. In this work, the full problem is investigated with direct numerical simulations. Our simulations employ a recently developed capability in our General Purpose Research Simulator (AD-GPRS). The compositional approach is based on K-values and a linear density model. A shared-memory parallel implementation allows for high resolution simulations in a reasonable time frame. Our results indicate that it is important to consider the reduction in the dissolution rate after the fingers begin to interact with the bottom of the aquifer. Another important observation suggests considering a reduction in the dissolution rate where the plume thickness increases in time. In addition to the large-scale simulations, we performed convective-mixing simulations in relatively small domains to support the analysis of large-scale plume migration and CO2 trapping.