Monte Carlo simulations of multiphase flow incorporating spatial variability of hydraulic properties

Groundwater
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Abstract

To study the effect of spatial variability of sediment hydraulic properties on multiphase flow, oil infiltration into a hypothetical glacial outwash aquifer, followed by oil extraction, was simulated using a cross-sectional multiphase flow model. The analysis was simplified by neglecting capillary hysteresis. The first simulation used a uniform mean permeability and mean retention curve. This was followed by 50 Monte Carlo simulations conducted using 50 spatially variable permeability realizations and corresponding spatially variable retention curves. For the type of correlation structure considered in this study, which is similar to that of glacial outwash deposits, use of mean hydraulic properties reproduces the ensemble average oil saturation distribution obtained from the Monte Carlo simulations. However, spatial variability causes the oil saturation distribution in an individual oil lens to differ significantly from that of the mean lens. Oil saturations at a given location may be considerably higher than would be predicted using uniform mean properties. During cleanup by oil extraction from a well, considerably more oil may remain behind in the heterogeneous case than in the spatially uniform case.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Monte Carlo simulations of multiphase flow incorporating spatial variability of hydraulic properties
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.1993.tb00836.x
Volume 31
Issue 1
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 12 p.
First page 123
Last page 134
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