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CMX Lunch Seminar

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Online Event
From viscous to crustal fingering: phase-field modeling of complex interfacial flow
Xiaojing (Ruby) Fu, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Caltech,

In this talk, I will discuss the modeling of complex multiphase flow in porous media using phase-field methods. I will start with the modeling of viscous fingering between two fluids of partial miscibilityâ€" a scenario that is rarely addressed. Through a careful design of the thermodynamic free energy of a binary mixture, we develop a phase-field model of fluid-fluid displacements in a Hele-Shaw cell for the general case in which the two fluids have limited (but nonzero) solubility into one another.

Then I will address the modeling of methane clathrate (gas hydrate) in multiphase environments using phase-field methods. Motivated by field and laboratory observations, I will describe how the spontaneous formation of a solid hydrate crust on a moving gas-liquid interface gives rise to a new type of flow instability we term crustal fingering. I will further show that this solid-modulated gas percolation mechanism is crucial to our understanding of methane venting in the world's oceans.

Finally, I will discuss challenges on modeling fluid-solid coupling due to phase change in porous media, and opportunities to address new questions at the interface of engineering and geosciences.

For more information, please contact Jolene Brink by phone at 6263952813 or by email at jbrink@caltech.edu or visit CMX Website.