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Modeling and Simulation of Macrocapillarity

R. Hilfer
Institut für Computer Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 27, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Institut für Physik, Universität Mainz, 55099 Mainz, Germany

Macroscopic capillarity, or macrocapillarity for short, refers to capillary phenomena occurring during twophase and multiphase flow in porous media. Wetting phenomena and hysteresis in porous media are at present poorly understood in the sense that neither in physics nor in engineering a fully predictive theory seems to exist, that can describe or predict all observations. This paper extends the consitutive assumptions of a recent approach based on the concept of hydraulic percolation of fluid phases. The theory proposed here allows prediction of residual saturations. It can describe displacement processes in which imbibition and drainage occur simultaneously. This contrasts with the established traditional theory where capillary forces are lumped into capillary pressure function and relative permeabilities, and these functions need to be specified for each displacement process as input. Contrary to the traditional theory the approach advanced here allows to predict capillary pressure saturation relations as output.