Uncertainty Assessment of Solute Mixing in Heterogenous Porous Media

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Physics


Flow state variables and attributes of porous media vary across a wide range of spatial (and temporal) scales. Typical observations of these properties arise from a variety of experimental techniques, each of which has its own spatial resolution, associated uncertainty and cost. As an example, permeability can be evaluated through microfluidics experiments, core-flooding laboratory experiments, or field-scale well tests. These provide compelling evidence that the key statistics of parameters driving the physical processes occurring in porous media vary across scales. A firm scientific foundation for the characterization of basic mechanisms associated with flow fields in porous media therefore requires a robust understanding of all relevant processes and properties across the spectrum of relevant length and time scales, based on a multiscale approach that allows the fusion of real-world data.
While statistical techniques are available to assist advancement in this direction, these typically involve a single variable of interest at a unique observation scale. As a key objective, an original theoretical and computational framework will be developed to seamlessly assimilate data associated with diverse variables collected at a range of scales and combine these to provide predictions of flow dynamics along with a quantification of the associated uncertainties. The main goals of the project include: (a) scale-bridging (transfer information from one scale to another) using analytical and computational tools; (b) incorporating data collected into a model representing dynamics of the porous system at any other scale of observation; (c) inferring corresponding scaling parameters from measured data.
The project aligns with EPSRC themes of Energy, Engineering and Global Uncertainties. It focuses on developing analytical methods and computational tools to tackle fundamental research challenges related to underground engineering. Through developing tools for quantification of uncertainty in flow in porous media, new knowledge will be provided for the design of strategies for the use of geo-energy or remediation of groundwater resources. Therefore, the project will support the UK Energy security plans and has the potential to support the UK to cope with Environmental Changes.

International and industrial partners
The project will be supported by international academic partners from Politechnico di Milano, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Italy) and University of Southern California (USA), who provide supervision on stochastic modelling aspect of the project and host the PhD student. Also, industrial partner BIOAZUL, SL. (Spain) will provide data for verification of computational tools that will be developed in this project.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022848/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2229227 Studentship EP/S022848/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Matthew Harrison