Hysteresis and horizontal redistribution in porous media

C. J. van Duijn, K. Mitra

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8 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


It is well known that multiphase flow in porous media exhibits hysteretic behaviour. This is caused by different fluid–fluid behaviour if the flux reverses. For example, for flow of water in unsaturated soils the process of imbibition and drainage behaves differently. In this paper we study a new model for hysteresis that extends the current playtype hysteresis model in which the scanning curves between drainage and imbibition are vertical. In our approach the scanning curves are non-vertical and can be constructed to approximate experimentally observed scanning curves. Furthermore our approach does not require any book-keeping when the flux reverses at some point in space. Specifically, we consider the problem of horizontal redistribution to illustrate the strength of the new model. We show that all cases of redistribution can be handled, including the unconventional flow cases. For an infinite column, our analysis involves a self-similar transformation of the equations. We also present a numerical approach (L-scheme) for the partial differential equations in a finite domain to recover all redistribution cases of the infinite column provided time is not too large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-399
Number of pages25
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Hysteresis
  • Multiphase porous flows
  • Playtype
  • Redistribution
  • Scanning curves


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