Multiphase flow modeling in multiscale porous media: An open-source micro-continuum approach

Francisco J. Carrillo, Ian C. Bourg, Cyprien Soulaine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A multiphase Darcy-Brinkman approach is proposed to simulate two-phase flow in hybrid systems containing both solid-free regions and porous matrices. This micro-continuum model is rooted in elementary physics and volume averaging principles, where a unique set of partial differential equations is used to represent flow in both regions and scales. The crux of the proposed model is that it tends asymptotically towards the Navier-Stokes volume-of-fluid approach in solid-free regions and towards the multiphase Darcy equations in porous regions. Unlike existing multiscale multiphase solvers, it can match analytical predictions of capillary, relative permeability, and gravitational effects at both the pore and Darcy scales. Through its open-source implementation, hybridPorousInterFoam, the proposed approach marks the extension of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation packages into porous multiscale, multiphase systems. The versatility of the solver is illustrated using applications to two-phase flow in a fractured porous matrix and wave interaction with a porous coastal barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100073
JournalJournal of Computational Physics: X
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Coastal Barrier
  • Fracture
  • Micro-continuum
  • Multi-scale
  • Multiphase
  • Porous Media


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