A Discontinuous Control Volume Finite Element Method for Multi-Phase Flow in Heterogeneous Porous Media

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Title: A Discontinuous Control Volume Finite Element Method for Multi-Phase Flow in Heterogeneous Porous Media
Authors: Salinas, P
Pavlidis, D
Xie, Z
Osman, H
Pain, CC
Jackson, MD
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We present a new, high-order, control-volume-finite-element (CVFE) method for multiphase porous media flow with discontinuous 1st-order representation for pressure and discontinuous 2nd-order representation for velocity. The method has been implemented using unstructured tetrahedral meshes to discretize space. The method locally and globally conserves mass. However, unlike conventional CVFE formulations, the method presented here does not require the use of control volumes (CVs) that span the boundaries between domains with differing material properties. We demonstrate that the approach accurately preserves discontinuous saturation changes caused by permeability variations across such boundaries, allowing efficient simulation of flow in highly heterogeneous models. Moreover, accurate solutions are obtained at significantly lower computational cost than using conventional CVFE methods. We resolve a long-standing problem associated with the use of classical CVFE methods to model flow in highly heterogeneous porous media.
Issue Date: 31-Oct-2017
Date of Acceptance: 29-Sep-2017
ISSN: 0021-9991
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 602
End Page: 614
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Computational Physics
Volume: 352
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: EP/K003976/1
Keywords: 01 Mathematical Sciences
02 Physical Sciences
09 Engineering
Applied Mathematics
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Earth Science and Engineering
Chemical Engineering

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