Fronts in two-phase porous media flow problems: the effects of hysteresis and dynamic capillarity

Koondanibha Mitra (Corresponding author), Tobias Köppl, Hans van Duijn, Iuliu Sorin Pop, Rainer Helmig

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In this work, we study the behaviour of saturation fronts for two phase flow through a long homogeneous porous column. In particular, the model includes hysteresis and dynamic effects in the capillary pressure and hysteresis in the permeabilities. The analysis uses travelling wave approximation. Entropy solutions are derived for Riemann problems that are arising in this context. These solutions belong to a much broader class compared to the standard Oleinik solutions, where hysteresis and dynamic effects are neglected. The relevant cases are examined and the corresponding solutions are categorized. They include non-monotone profiles, multiple shocks and self-developing stable saturation plateaus. Numerical results are presented that illustrate the mathematical analysis. Finally, we compare experimental results with our theoretical findings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Applied Mathematics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Jul 2019



  • two-phase flow
  • hysteresis and dynamic capillarity
  • Riemann problem
  • Travelling waves

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