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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering


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Modeling and analysis of the movement of fluid-fluid interfaces in porous media coupled with free flow
Project manager:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig
Deputy:Dr.-Ing. Holger Class, Prof. Dr. Insa Neuweiler
Research assistants:Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Mosthaf
Duration:1.11.2008 - 30.10.2011
Funding:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), externer Link www.dfg.de, subproject P7 in the International Research Unit: Multi-Scale Interfaces in Unsaturated Soil - Towards quantitative prediction of terrestrial mass and energy fluxes (MUSIS)
Project Partners:Leibniz Universität Hannover, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Forschungszentrum Jüich, ETH Zürich, UFZ Halle Leipzig
Comments:Teilprojekt der internationalen DFG-Forschergruppe "Multi-Scale Interfaces in Unsaturated Soil - Towards quantitative prediction of terrestrial mass and energy fluxes", www.musis.uni-stuttgart.de (wird momentan erstellt!!!)

This project is part of the research area:
Model coupling and complex structures


When a fluid infiltrates into a porous medium or when a wet porous medium dries, the different driving forces of the infiltration or drying process can lead to an unstable growth of the fluid-gas interface or to self-stabilizing behavior. If the porous medium is heterogeneous, the medium structure has a strong impact on the front stability. Furthermore, the processes that occur at the boundary between unsaturated zone and atmosphere can strongly influence the infiltration and evaporation behavior and the respective flow pattern.

In this project, we focus on the modeling and analysis of infiltration and evaporation fronts in unsaturated porous media and on the movement and the stability properties of liquid-gas interfaces. We plan to analyze the behavior of fluid fronts at interfaces of different porous materials using numerical models. With this, we intend to quantify the interrelation between the geometric properties of the heterogeneous medium structure and the movement of liquid-gas interfaces. A major goal is to design and improve a sophisticated numerical model that is able to correctly capture and reproduce the complex processes on a laboratory scale. A special focus will lie on the approximation of the interface between porous media and atmosphere (free-flow). The validated numerical model will be used at a later stage for the simulation of a series of infiltration and evaporation events.