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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


The flow of fluids driven by the presence of density gradients in a porous medium is important in a broad array of contexts. These include the spread of waste fluids from industrial disposal sites and landfills, saltwater intrusions into coastal aquifers and the transport of salts used in agricultural activities. Further examples include the long-term salt dissolution and brine transport associated with repositories for radioactive waste-disposal and the large-scale motion of fluids in closed desert basins arising from climate-induced saline changes. The migration of vapours of volatile pollutants in the Earth's subsurface may also be driven by gravity.

In this PhD project, we developed numerical models to study one-phase, miscible flows and two-phase immiscible flows, in which gravitational effects are important.

(click images to enlarge)

Predicted density fields near a brine-water interface in a porous medium.

Predicted flow fields near a brine-water interface in a porous medium.