Combining finite element and finite volume methods for efficient multiphase flow simulations in highly heterogeneous and structurally complex geologic media

S. Geiger, S. G. Roberts, S. K. Matthäi, C. Zoppou, A. Burri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    777 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The permeability of the Earth's crust commonly varies over many orders of magnitude. Flow velocity can range over several orders of magnitude in structures of interest that vary in scale from centimeters to kilometers. To accurately and efficiently model multiphase flow in geologic media, we introduce a fully conservative node-centered finite volume method coupled with a Galerkin finite element method on an unstructured triangular grid with a complementary finite volume subgrid. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by comparison with traditional solution methods and by multiphase flow simulations for heterogeneous permeability fields including complex geometries that produce transport parameters and lengths scales varying over four orders of magnitude.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)284-299
    Number of pages16
    JournalGeofluids
    Volume4
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

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