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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    In: Water Resources Research, November 2015, Vol.51(11), pp.9094-9111
    Description: We study the impact of pore structure and surface roughness on capillary trapping of nonwetting gas phase during imbibition with water for capillary numbers between 10 and 5 × 10, within glass beads, natural sands, glass beads monolayers, and 2‐D micromodels. The materials exhibit different roughness of the pore‐solid interface. We found that glass beads and natural sands, which exhibit nearly the same grain size distribution, pore size distribution, and connectivity, showed a significant difference of the trapped gas phase of about 15%. This difference can be explained by the microstructure of the pore‐solid interface. Based on the visualization of the trapping dynamics within glass beads monolayers and 2‐D micromodels, we could show that bypass trapping controls the trapping process in glass beads monolayers, while snap‐off trapping controls the trapping process in 2‐D micromodels. We conclude that these different trapping processes are the reason for the different trapping efficiency, when comparing glass beads packs with natural sand packs. Moreover, for small capillary numbers of 10, we found that the cluster size distribution of trapped gas clusters of all 2‐D and 3‐D porous media can be described by a universal power law behavior predicted from percolation theory. This cannot be expected a priori for 2‐D porous media, because bicontinuity of the two bulk phases is violated. Obviously, bicontinuity holds for the thin‐film water phase and the bulk gas phase. The snap‐off trapping process leads to ordinary bond percolation in front of the advancing bulk water phase and is the reason for the observed universal power law behavior in 2‐D micromodels with rough surfaces. Surface roughness controls capillary trapping efficiency The transition‐zone model can be applied to 2‐D micromodels with rough surfaces The 2‐D and 3‐D porous media belong all to the same universality class
    Keywords: Surface Roughness ; Precursor Thin‐Film Flow ; Snap‐Off Trapping ; Universal Power Law ; Ordinary Bond Percolation
    ISSN: 0043-1397
    E-ISSN: 1944-7973
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