Density-driven convection enhanced by an inclined boundary: Implications for geological CO2 storage

Peichun A. Tsai, Kathleen Riesing, Howard A. Stone

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64 Scopus citations


We experimentally examine dissolution-generated, density-driven convection with an inclined boundary in both a Hele-Shaw cell and in a porous medium. The convection, manifested by descending, dense fingers, is generated by a diffusive mixing of two liquids at the interface. We investigate the dynamics, widths, and wavelengths of the fingers and characterize the global convective transport for a wide range of permeabilities and tilt angles of the boundaries. Our results have implications for CO2 storage in a saline aquifer when brine saturated with CO2 produces a heavier mixture, which may result in an enhanced mass transfer by convection. Our measurements reveal a further enhancement of convection with inclined boundaries, which suggests that sloping formations provide improved sites for CO2 storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011003
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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