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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering

Research: Dept. of Hydromechanics and Modeling of Hydrosystems

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FIMOTUM - First-principle-based Modelling of Transport in Unsaturated Media,
Subproject III Incorporation of subscale processes into enhanced constitutive relationships on the meso- and macroscale
Project manager:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig
Deputy:Prof. Dr. Insa Neuweiler
Research assistants:Dipl.-Ing. Hartmut Eichel, M.Sc.
Alexandros Papafotiou, M.Sc.
Duration:1.5.2004 - 30.4.2007
Funding:externer Link German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project Partners:
Publications: Link


Multiphase flow and transport processes in porous media with structures on different scales are relevant for several scientific research areas as well as application realms. Previous research has shown that the interaction of two fluids with the structure of the solid phase has a significant influence on the two-phase flow. Subproject I (SP I) at the ETH Zürich will detect the soil structures relevant for two fluid phase flow. With the help of this information Subproject II (SP II) at the TU Braunschweig will construct appropriate material functions (constitutive relationships) which will in turn be used by subproject III (SP III) at the Universität Stuttgart for multi phase flow simulations. SPI and SP II will work on the porescale, while SP III will do their simulations on the meso- and macroscale.

In cooperation with SPII our group will try to reveal similarities and differences in the numerical treatment of two-phase flow on the microscale and mesoscale using a dimensional analysis and solving a reference problem. The study should help to map microscale parameters to the mesoscale approach. Furthermore we want to analyse transient physical processes on the meso- and macroscale as a function of fluid and solid phase properties and structural parameters. Effective constitutive relationships will be formulated for the macroscale based on steady-state and transient numerical experiments. Subsequently we would like to extend the constitutive elationships and the balance equations by a

  • dynamic capillary pressure-saturation relationship including hysteresis and
  • anisotropic relative permeability-saturation relationships.
The relevance especially of the dynamic term will be investigated for the macroscale.