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SIAM GS 2017 mini-symposia

For the upcoming SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences in Erlangen, Germany, we have organised two mini-symposia:

1. Understanding the impact of heterogeneity on CO2 plume spreading and immobilisation


  • Stephan Matthai, Peter Cook Centre of CCS, The University of Melbourne,
  • Rudolf Hilfer, Institut für Computerphysik, Universität Stuttgart,


Predicting CO2 plumes in saline aquifers is challenging: the displacement front is unstable due to the low viscosity of CO2. Different types of saturation patterns can evolve dependent on the flow regime in the aquifer: near-well inertia to viscous-force dominated flow is characterised by viscous and heterogeneity-induced fingering [1]; peripheral buoyancy-capillary dominated flow might evolve into non-compact ganglia migration [2]. Flow property and compositional heterogeneity further implies small-scale spatial variations in force balances and wettability.

  • Which instabilities are captured by current simulation approaches?
  • To what degree are predictions of storage capacity and plume extent compromised by sub-seismic heterogeneity influencing sweep, micro-displacement efficiency, and residual trapping?
  • 20-years injection at Sleipner, create a plume with a mean CO2 saturation of 5% [3], why?

This mini-symposium focuses on numeric methods and simulation approaches that address these challenges and discontinuous material property variations, including modelling of anisotropy and flow-regime dependent saturation functions in particular.


  • [1] Trojer, M., Szulczewski, M. L., Juanes, R., (2015), Stabilizing fluid-fluid displacements in porous media through wettability alteration. Physical Review Applied 3, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.3.054008.
  • [2] Meckel, T. A. and Bryant, S. L. (2014), Buoyancy-driven flow in heterogeneous materials. Energy Procedia 63, 5495-5502.
  • [3] Ringrose, P. S. Keynote Presentation-Integrated Geophysical and Geochemical Monitoring Portfolio for CO2 Storage." In Second EAGE Workshop on Permanent Reservoir Monitoring 2013–Current and Future Trends. 2013.

2. Increasing the physical realism of models and simulations involving fractured rocks


  • Stephan Matthai, Peter Cook Centre of CCS, The University of Melbourne,


The shallow subsurface is fractured, and such displacement discontinuities can have a critical impact on the engineering of water resources, tunnels and mines, underground gas storage, CO2 geo-sequestration, geothermal systems and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Understanding how rock fractures affect related activities in this now heavily explored environment is very important.

Arguably, realistic modelling and simulation of processes involving rock fractures, exemplifies the complexity of industrial applications of mathematics. It necessitates multi-process multi-scale models of often formidable geometric complexity. These are difficult to impossible to verify and validate.

Here we invite novel contributions to this cross-disciplinary subject: forward modelling of reactive (multiphase) flow processes, geomechanics, effective media property determination, model construction, benchmarking and validation. This mini symposium will explore how we can improve the physical realism of fracture modelling and simulation with the goal of better prediction, improved design of, and early anticipation of risks and side effects of engineering measures.