Workshop 1: October 3-7, 2011

Simulation of Flow in Porous Media and Applications in Waste Management and CO2 Sequestration


Peter Bastian, Heidelberg University, Germany
Johannes Kraus, Johann Radon Institute, Austria
Robert Scheichl, University of Bath, UK
Mary F. Wheeler, University of Texas at Austin, USA

Synopsis and Main Topics

This workshop will focus on mathematical and computational issues in subsurface flow. Subsurface flow problems are inherently multiscale in space due to the large variability of material properties and in time due to the coupling of many different physical processes, such as advection, diffusion, reaction and phase exchange. Subsurface flow models still need considerable development. For example, nonequilibrium effects, entrapped air, anomalous dispersion and hysteresis effects can still not be adequately described. Moreover, parameters of the models are difficult to access and often uncertain, linking this workshop to the Workshops 2 and 4. Computational issues in subsurface flows include the treatment of strong heterogeneities and anisotropies in the models, the efficient solution of transport-reaction problems with many species, treatment of multiphase-multicomponent flows and the coupling of subsurface flow models to surface flow models given by shallow water or Stokes equations. With respect to energy and the environment, in particular the modelling and simulation of radioactive waste management and sequestration of CO2 underground have gained high interest in the community in recent years. Both applications provide unique challenges ranging from modelling of clay materials to treating very large scale models with high-performance computing.

The workshop will bring together key numerical mathematicians whose interest is in the analysis and computation of multiscale subsurface flow and practitioners from engineering and industry whose interest is in the applications of these core problems. Particular problems to be considered will be (i) The design of accurate methods for problems with unresolved (or unresolvable) scales and/or uncertainty in data; (ii) The efficient and robust coupling of different models describing porous media and free flow (such as Darcy, Brinkman, Stokes, Richards and shallow water); (iii) Fast linear algebra solvers for subsurface flow problems in heterogeneous media; (iv) Applications of the above methods and ideas in energy and the environment, such as deep geological disposal of radioactive waste or carbon capture and storage underground.

The workshop will also include a Special Session on "Fuel Cell Modeling", which leads to similar mathematical problems as subsurface flow simulation.