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A discontinuous control volume finite element method for multi-phase flow in heterogeneous porous media

Salinas, P., Pavlidis, D., Xie, Zhihua, Osman, H., Pain, C.C. and Jackson, M.D. 2018. A discontinuous control volume finite element method for multi-phase flow in heterogeneous porous media. Journal of Computational Physics 352 , pp. 602-614. 10.1016/j.jcp.2017.09.058

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Abstract

We present a new, high-order, control-volume-finite-element (CVFE) method for multiphase porous media flow with discontinuous 1st-order representation for pressure and discontinuous 2nd-order representation for velocity. The method has been implemented using unstructured tetrahedral meshes to discretize space. The method locally and globally conserves mass. However, unlike conventional CVFE formulations, the method presented here does not require the use of control volumes (CVs) that span the boundaries between domains with differing material properties. We demonstrate that the approach accurately preserves discontinuous saturation changes caused by permeability variations across such boundaries, allowing efficient simulation of flow in highly heterogeneous models. Moreover, accurate solutions are obtained at significantly lower computational cost than using conventional CVFE methods. We resolve a long-standing problem associated with the use of classical CVFE methods to model flow in highly heterogeneous porous media.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0021-9991
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 29 September 2017
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2017 13:58
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/106108

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