Stability analysis of dissolution-driven convection in porous media

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We study the stability of dissolution-driven convection in the presence of a capillary transition zone and hydrodynamic dispersion in a saturated anisotropic porous medium, where the solute concentration is assumed to decay via a first-order chemical reaction. While the reaction enhances stability by consuming the solute, porous media anisotropy, hydrodynamic dispersion, and capillary transition zone destabilize the diffusive boundary layer that is unstably formed in a gravitational field. We perform linear stability analysis, based on the quasi-steady-state approximation, to assess critical times, critical wavenumbers, and neutral stability curves as a function of anisotropy ratio, dispersivity ratio, dispersion strength, material parameter, Bond number, Damköhler number, and Rayleigh number. The results show that the diffusive boundary layer becomes unstable in anisotropic porous media where both the capillary transition zone and dispersion are considered, even if the geochemical reaction is significantly large. Using direct numerical simulations, based on the finite difference method, we study the nonlinear dynamics of the system by examining dissolution flux, interaction of convective fingers, and flowtopology. The results of nonlinear simulations confirm the predictions from the linear stability analysis and reveal that the fingering pattern is significantly influenced by combined effects of reaction, anisotropy, dispersion, and capillarity. Finally, we draw conclusions on implications of our results on carbon dioxide sequestration in deep saline aquifers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014102
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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