Capillary fracturing in granular media

R. Holtzman, M.L. Szulczewski, R. Juanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We study the displacement of immiscible fluids in deformable, noncohesive granular media. Experimentally, we inject air into a thin bed of water-saturated glass beads and observe the invasion morphology. The control parameters are the injection rate, the bead size, and the confining stress. We identify three invasion regimes: capillary fingering, viscous fingering, and “capillary fracturing,” where capillary forces overcome frictional resistance and induce the opening of conduits. We derive two dimensionless numbers that govern the transition among the different regimes: a modified capillary number and a fracturing number. The experiments and analysis predict the emergence of fracturing in fine-grained media under low confining stress, a phenomenon that likely plays a fundamental role in many natural processes such as primary oil migration, methane venting from lake sediments, and the formation of desiccation cracks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number264504
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume108
Issue number26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

fracturing
beads
confining
dimensionless numbers
venting
lakes
drying
beds
sediments
methane
cracks
oils
injection
glass
fluids
air
water

Cite this

Capillary fracturing in granular media. / Holtzman, R.; Szulczewski, M.L.; Juanes, R.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 108, No. 26, 264504 , 28.06.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Holtzman, R. ; Szulczewski, M.L. ; Juanes, R. / Capillary fracturing in granular media. In: Physical Review Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 108, No. 26.
@article{cc98299606da4012b7bd8dad3945b832,
title = "Capillary fracturing in granular media",
abstract = "We study the displacement of immiscible fluids in deformable, noncohesive granular media. Experimentally, we inject air into a thin bed of water-saturated glass beads and observe the invasion morphology. The control parameters are the injection rate, the bead size, and the confining stress. We identify three invasion regimes: capillary fingering, viscous fingering, and “capillary fracturing,” where capillary forces overcome frictional resistance and induce the opening of conduits. We derive two dimensionless numbers that govern the transition among the different regimes: a modified capillary number and a fracturing number. The experiments and analysis predict the emergence of fracturing in fine-grained media under low confining stress, a phenomenon that likely plays a fundamental role in many natural processes such as primary oil migration, methane venting from lake sediments, and the formation of desiccation cracks.",
author = "R. Holtzman and M.L. Szulczewski and R. Juanes",
year = "2012",
month = "6",
day = "28",
doi = "10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.264504",
language = "English",
volume = "108",
journal = "Physical Review Letters",
issn = "0031-9007",
publisher = "American Physical Society",
number = "26",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Capillary fracturing in granular media

AU - Holtzman, R.

AU - Szulczewski, M.L.

AU - Juanes, R.

PY - 2012/6/28

Y1 - 2012/6/28

N2 - We study the displacement of immiscible fluids in deformable, noncohesive granular media. Experimentally, we inject air into a thin bed of water-saturated glass beads and observe the invasion morphology. The control parameters are the injection rate, the bead size, and the confining stress. We identify three invasion regimes: capillary fingering, viscous fingering, and “capillary fracturing,” where capillary forces overcome frictional resistance and induce the opening of conduits. We derive two dimensionless numbers that govern the transition among the different regimes: a modified capillary number and a fracturing number. The experiments and analysis predict the emergence of fracturing in fine-grained media under low confining stress, a phenomenon that likely plays a fundamental role in many natural processes such as primary oil migration, methane venting from lake sediments, and the formation of desiccation cracks.

AB - We study the displacement of immiscible fluids in deformable, noncohesive granular media. Experimentally, we inject air into a thin bed of water-saturated glass beads and observe the invasion morphology. The control parameters are the injection rate, the bead size, and the confining stress. We identify three invasion regimes: capillary fingering, viscous fingering, and “capillary fracturing,” where capillary forces overcome frictional resistance and induce the opening of conduits. We derive two dimensionless numbers that govern the transition among the different regimes: a modified capillary number and a fracturing number. The experiments and analysis predict the emergence of fracturing in fine-grained media under low confining stress, a phenomenon that likely plays a fundamental role in many natural processes such as primary oil migration, methane venting from lake sediments, and the formation of desiccation cracks.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-84863223768&partnerID=MN8TOARS

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.264504

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.264504

M3 - Article

VL - 108

JO - Physical Review Letters

JF - Physical Review Letters

SN - 0031-9007

IS - 26

M1 - 264504

ER -