Journal of Hydrology, December 2017, Vol.555, pp.253-256
In the last decade, X-ray computed tomography (CT) has become widely used to characterize the geometry and topology of the pore space of soils and natural porous media. Regardless of the resolution of CT images, a fundamental problem associated with their use, for example as a starting point in simulation efforts, is that sub-resolution pores are not detected. Over the last few years, a particular type of modeling method, known as "Grey" or "Partial Bounce Back" Lattice-Boltzmann (LB), has been adopted by increasing numbers of researchers to try to account for sub-resolution pores in the modeling of water and solute transport in natural porous media. In this short paper, we assess the extent to which Grey LB methods indeed offer a workable solution to the problem at hand. We conclude that, in spite of significant computational advances, a major experimental hurdle related to the evaluation of the penetrability of sub-resolution pores, is blocking the way ahead. This hurdle will need to be cleared before Grey LB can become a credible option in the microscale modeling of soils and sediments. A necessarily interdisciplinary effort, involving both modelers and experimentalists, is needed to clear the path forward.
Computer Modeling ; Transport Processes ; Image Resolution ; Measurement ; Interdisciplinary Research ; Geography
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