Thermal convection in three-dimensional fractured porous media

Abstract : Thermal convection is numerically computed in three-dimensional (3D) fluid saturated isotropically fractured porous media. Fractures are randomly inserted as two-dimensional (2D) convex polygons. Flow is governed by Darcy's 2D and 3D laws in the fractures and in the porous medium, respectively; exchanges take place between these two structures. Results for unfractured porous media are in agreement with known theoretical predictions. The influence of parameters such as the fracture aperture (or fracture transmissivity) and the fracture density on the heat released by the whole system is studied for Rayleigh numbers up to 150 in cubic boxes with closed-top conditions. Then, fractured media are compared to homogeneous porous media with the same macroscopic properties. Three major results could be derived from this study. The behavior of the system, in terms of heat release, is determined as a function of fracture density and fracture transmissivity. First, the increase in the output flux with fracture density is linear over the range of fracture density tested. Second, the increase in output flux as a function of fracture transmissivity shows the importance of percolation. Third, results show that the effective approach is not always valid, and that the mismatch between the full calculations and the effective medium approach depends on the fracture density in a crucial way.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 6:51:55 AM
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Cécile Mezon, V. Mourzenko, F. Thovert, R. Antoine, Fabrice Fontaine, et al.. Thermal convection in three-dimensional fractured porous media. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2018, 97 (1), ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.97.013106⟩. ⟨hal-01859317⟩

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