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Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar: Special Seminar

Wednesday, July 10, 2024
11:00am to 12:00pm
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Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar Series: Special Seminar

Modeling heat and mass transport in convective porous media flows: a multiscale approach


Mixing in porous media is relevant to geophysical subsurface flows, such as water contamination, petroleum migration, sea ice formation and geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. In these processes, the fluid carries a dispersed phase (solute) that induces density differences within the fluid domain, resulting in convective motions driving the flow. This flow dynamics has a multiscale character: molecular diffusion determines solute mixing at the scale of the pores, whereas at the large scales convective structures control the flow. An accurate description of the long-term flow dynamics requires to account for both pore-scale and large-scale effects. I will present our recent findings and modelling strategies of convective porous media flows analyzing simulations (pore-scale and Darcy-scale), experiments (Hele-Shaw and bead packs) and theory (gravity currents and Grossmann-Lohse theory).


Marco De Paoli obtained his PhD in Fluid Mechanics at the University of Udine in 2017, under the supervision of Alfredo Soldati. During his postdoc at TU Wien (2017-2021) he worked on experiments in multiphase flows. Since 2022, he is at the Physics of Fluids Group (University of Twente) where he works with Roberto Verzicco and Detlef Lohse. He is Erwin Schrödinger Fellow (2022-2023) and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow (2023-2025). He is currently interested in experiments and simulations in convection in porous media and fibre-laden flows.

NOTE: At this time, in-person Mechanical and Civil Engineering Lectures are open to all Caltech students/staff/faculty/visitors.

For more information, please contact Stacie Takase by phone at (626) 395-3389 or by email at [email protected] or visit