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Effective pore-scale dispersion upscaling with a correlated continuous time random walk approach

Abstract : We investigate the upscaling of dispersion from a pore-scale analysis of Lagrangian velocities. A key challenge in the upscaling procedure is to relate the temporal evolution of spreading to the pore-scale velocity field properties. We test the hypothesis that one can represent Lagrangian velocities at the pore scale as a Markov process in space. The resulting effective transport model is a continuous time random walk (CTRW) characterized by a correlated random time increment, here denoted as correlated CTRW. We consider a simplified sinusoidal wavy channel model as well as a more complex heterogeneous pore space. For both systems, the predictions of the correlated CTRW model, with parameters defined from the velocity field properties (both distribution and correlation), are found to be in good agreement with results from direct pore-scale simulations over preasymptotic and asymptotic times. In this framework, the nontrivial dependence of dispersion on the pore boundary fluctuations is shown to be related to the competition between distribution and correlation effects. In particular, explicit inclusion of spatial velocity correlation in the effective CTRW model is found to be important to represent incomplete mixing in the pore throats.
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Tanguy Le Borgne, Diego Bolster, Marco Dentz, Pietro de Anna, Alexandre Tartakovsky. Effective pore-scale dispersion upscaling with a correlated continuous time random walk approach. Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union, 2011, 47 (12), pp.W12538. ⟨10.1029/2011WR010457⟩. ⟨insu-00667659⟩

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