Solving the Buckley-Leverett equation with gravity in a heterogeneous porous medium

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Immiscible two-phase flow in porous media can be described by the fractional flow model. If capillary forces are neglected, then the saturation equation is a non-linear hyperbolic conservation law, known as the Buckley–Leverett equation. This equation can be numerically solved by the method of Godunov, in which the saturation is computed from the solution of Riemann problems at cell interfaces. At a discontinuity of permeability this solution has to be constructed from two flux functions. In order to determine a unique solution an entropy inequality is needed. In this article an entropy inequality is derived from a regularisation procedure, where the physical capillary pressure term is added to the Buckley-Leverett equation. This entropy inequality determines unique solutions of Riemann problems for all initial conditions. It leads to a simple recipe for the computation of interface fluxes for the method of Godunov.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-48
Number of pages26
JournalComputational Geosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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