Micro-continuum approaches are intermediate between a pure Navier-Stokes description of flow and transport and a continuum-scale model using Darcy’s law. They use an unique formulation regardless the content of a grid cells, i.e. the same set of partial differential equations handles both pore-scale and Darcy-scale physics. Micro-continuum approaches are intrinsically two-scale allowing simulations with resolved and unresolved porosity in the same computational domain. For example, this hybrid-scale framework allows simulations in fractures (Stokes flow) surrounded by a porous matrix (Darcy’s law). It is therefore well-suited to simulate flow and transport in microtomography images that contain sub-voxel porosity. The technique is also powerful to move fluid / solid boundaries in presence of geochemical processes such as dissolution or precipitation. Recently, solid mechanics have been introduced into the framework to model the hydrology of soft porous media such as clays and elastic membranes. Our most recent work extend the micro-continuum approach to multi-phase flow.
Dr. Cyprien Soulaine
Chargé de Recherche CNRS,
l'Institut des sciences de la Terre d'Orléans (ISTO)