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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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Introduction

Physical model experiments show how fluids are distributed within the pore space. Since we are modeling processes which occur on the pore scale, physical and chemical processes at this scale must somehow become incorporated in our models. Usually, the relation is indirect and the final model does not reflect pore scale processes explicitly. This is the same approach used by Darcy (see Ground Water) and is the reason that we can use an extended form of Darcy's Law (see Multiphase Flow).

Note on the sources of the photographs that follow

Two sets of photographs are used to illustrate concepts of phase distribution. The first are taken from the book "Dense Chlorinated Solvents in Porous and Fractured Media" by Friedrich Schwille and published by CRC Lewis Publishers.

The second set of photographs, those taken from natural porous media were taken by Dr. John L. Wilson and his students at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico. This work was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was publised as EPA Report 600/6-90/004, titled "Laboratory Investigation of Residual Liquid Organics from Spills, Leaks, and the Disposal of Hazardous Wastes in Ground Water."

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