A discontinuous Galerkin method for gravity-driven viscous fingering instabilities in porous media. (English) Zbl 1286.76152

Summary: We present a new approach to the simulation of gravity-driven viscous fingering instabilities in porous media flow. These instabilities play a very important role during carbon sequestration processes in brine aquifers. Our approach is based on a nonlinear implementation of the discontinuous Galerkin method, and possesses a number of key features. First, the method developed is inherently high order, and is therefore well suited to study unstable flow mechanisms. Secondly, it maintains high-order accuracy on completely unstructured meshes. The combination of these two features makes it a very appealing strategy in simulating the challenging flow patterns and very complex geometries of actual reservoirs and aquifers. This article includes an extensive set of verification studies on the stability and accuracy of the method, and also features a number of computations with unstructured grids and non-standard geometries.


76S05 Flows in porous media; filtration; seepage
65M60 Finite element, Rayleigh-Ritz and Galerkin methods for initial value and initial-boundary value problems involving PDEs
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