Modeling Variable Density Flow and Solute Transport in Porous Medium: 1. Numerical Model and Verification

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A new numerical model for the resolution of density coupled flow and transport in porous media is presented. The model is based on the mixed hybrid finite elements (MHFE) and discontinuous finite elements (DFE) methods. MHFE is used to solve the flow equation and the dispersive part of the transport equation. This method is more accurate in the calculation of velocities and ensures continuity of fluxes from one element to the adjacent one. DFE is used to solve the convective part of the transport equation. Combined with a slope limiting procedure, it avoids numerical instabilities and creates a very limited numerical dispersion, even for high grid Peclet number.Flow and transport equations are coupled by a standard iterative scheme. Residual based criterion is used to stop the iterations. Simulations of an unstable equilibrium show the effects of the criteria used to stop the iterations and the stopping criterion in the solver. The effects are more important for finer grids than for coarser grids.The numerical model is verified by the simulation of standard benchmarks: the Henry and the Elder test cases. A good agreement is found between the revised semi-analytical Henry solution and the numerical solution. The Elder test case was also studied. The simulations were similar to those presented in previous works but with significantly less unknowns (i.e. coarser grids). These results show the efficiency of the used numerical schemes.

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