Convection and flow in porous media. Part 1. Visualization by magnetic resonance imaging

Published

Journal Article

We describe an experimental study of porous media convection (PMC) from onset to 8Rac. The goal of this work is to provide non-invasive imaging and high-precision heat transport measurements to test theories of convection in PMC. We obtain velocity information and visualize the convection patterns using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We study both ordered and disordered packings of mono-disperse spheres of diameter d = 3.204 ± 0.029 mm, in circular, rectangular, and hexagonal planforms. In general, the structure of the medium plays a role which is not predicted by theories which assume a homogeneous system. Disordered media are prepared by pouring mono-disperse spheres into the container. Large ordered regions of close packing for the spheres, with grain boundaries and isolated defects, characterize these media. The defects and grain boundaries play an important role in pattern formation in disordered media. Any deviation from close packing produces a region of larger porosity, hence locally larger permeability. The result is spatial variations in the Rayleigh number, Ra. We define the critical Ra, Rac, as the Rayleigh number at the onset of convection in the ordered regions. We find that stable localized convective regions exist around grain boundaries and defects at Ra < Rac. These remain as pinning sites for the convection patterns in the ordered regions as Ra increases above Rac up to 5Rac, the highest Ra studied in the disordered media. In ordered media, spheres are packed such that the only deviations from close packing occur within a thin (

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shattuck, MD; Behringer, RP; Johnson, GA; Georgiadis, JG

Published Date

  • February 10, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 332 /

Start / End Page

  • 215 - 245

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1120

Citation Source

  • Scopus