Mixed Fluid Conditions: Capillary Phenomena

Mixed fluid phenomena in porous media have profound implications on soil-atmosphere interaction, energy geotechnology, environmental engineering and infrastructure design. Surface tension varies with pressure, temperature, solute concentration, and surfactant concentration; on the other hand, the contact angle responds to interfacial tensions, surface topography, invasion velocity, and chemical interactions. Interfaces are not isolated but interact through the fluid pressure and respond to external fields. Jumps, snap-offs and percolating wetting liquids along edges and crevices are ubiquitous in real, non-cylindrical porous networks. Pore- and macroscale instabilities together with pore structure variability-and-correlation favor fluid trapping and hinder recovery efficiency. The saturation-pressure characteristic curve is affected by the saturation-history, flow-rate, the mechanical response of the porous medium, and time-dependent reactive and diffusive processes; in addition, there are salient differences between unsaturation by internal gas nucleation and gas invasion. Capillary forces add to other skeletal forces in the porous medium and can generate open-mode discontinuities when the capillary entry pressure is high relative to the effective stress. Time emerges as an important variable in mixed-fluid conditions and common quasi-static analyses may fail to capture the system response.

Santamarina JC, Sun Z (2017) Mixed Fluid Conditions: Capillary Phenomena. Poromechanics VI. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784480779.010.

Support for this research was provided by the KAUST endowment. Gabrielle E. Abelskamp edited the manuscript.

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Poromechanics VI

Conference/Event Name
6th Biot Conference on Poromechanics, Poromechanics 2017


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