The origin of hysteresis and memory of two-phase flow in disordered media

Ran Holtzman, Marco Dentz, Ramon Planet, Jordi Ortín

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)
    32 Downloads (Pure)


    Cyclic fluid-fluid displacements in disordered media feature hysteresis, multivaluedness, and memory properties in the pressure-saturation relationship. Quantitative understanding of the underlying pore-scale mechanisms and their extrapolation across scales constitutes a major challenge. Here we find that the capillary action of a single constriction in the fluid passage contains the key features of hysteresis. This insight forms the building block for an ab initio model that provides the quantitative link between the microscopic capillary physics, spatially-extended collective events (Haines jumps) and large-scale hysteresis. The mechanisms identified here apply to a broad range of problems in hydrology, geophysics and engineering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number222
    Number of pages7
    JournalCommunications Physics
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit


    • Fluid dynamics
    • Statistical physics, thermodynamics and nonlinear dynamics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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