CMX Lunch Seminar
From viscous to crustal fingering: phase-field modeling of complex interfacial flow
In this talk, I will discuss the modeling of complex multiphase flow in porous media using phase-field methods. I will start with the modeling of viscous fingering between two fluids of partial miscibilityâ€" a scenario that is rarely addressed. Through a careful design of the thermodynamic free energy of a binary mixture, we develop a phase-field model of fluid-fluid displacements in a Hele-Shaw cell for the general case in which the two fluids have limited (but nonzero) solubility into one another.
Then I will address the modeling of methane clathrate (gas hydrate) in multiphase environments using phase-field methods. Motivated by field and laboratory observations, I will describe how the spontaneous formation of a solid hydrate crust on a moving gas-liquid interface gives rise to a new type of flow instability we term crustal fingering. I will further show that this solid-modulated gas percolation mechanism is crucial to our understanding of methane venting in the world's oceans.
Finally, I will discuss challenges on modeling fluid-solid coupling due to phase change in porous media, and opportunities to address new questions at the interface of engineering and geosciences.