Immiscible two-phase fluid flows in deformable porous media

Wei Cheng Lo, Garrison Sposito, Ernest Majer

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Macroscopic differential equations of mass and momentum balance for two immiscible fluids in a deformable porous medium are derived in an Eulerian framework using the continuum theory of mixtures. After inclusion of constitutive relationships, the resulting momentum balance equations feature terms characterizing the coupling among the fluid phases and the solid matrix caused by their relative accelerations. These terms, which imply a number of interesting phenomena, do not appear in current hydrologic models of subsurface multiphase flow. Our equations of momentum balance are shown to reduce to the Berryman-Thigpen-Chen model of bulk elastic wave propagation through unsaturated porous media after simplification (e.g., isothermal conditions, neglect of gravity,etc.) and under the assumption of constant volume fractions and material densities. When specialized to the case of a porous medium containing a single fluid and an elastic solid, our momentum balance equations reduce to the well-known Biot model of poroelasticity. We also show that mass balance alone is sufficient to derive the Biot model stress-strain relations, provided that a closure condition for porosity change suggested by de la Cruz and Spanos is invoked. Finally, a relation between elastic parameters and inertial coupling coefficients is derived that permits the partial differential equations of the Biot model to be decoupled into a telegraph equation and a wave equation whose respective dependent variables are two different linear combinations of the dilatations of the solid and the fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1105-1117
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Issue number8-12
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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