One-dimensional flows of gravity currents within horizontal and inclined porous channels are investigated combining theoretical and experimental analysis to evaluate the joint effects of channel shape and fluid rheology. The parameter beta governs the shape of the channel cross section, while the fluid rheology is characterised by a power-law model with behaviour index n. Self-similar scalings for current length and height are obtained for horizontal and inclined channels when the current volume increases with time as t^alpha. For horizontal channels, the interplay of model parameters alpha, n, and beta governs the front speed, height, and aspect ratio of the current (ratio between the average height and the length). The dependency is modulated by two critical values of alpha, alpha_beta = n/(n+1) and alpha_n = (2 beta + 1)/beta. For all channel shapes, alpha_beta discriminates between currents whose height decreases (alpha < alpha_beta) or increases (alpha > alpha_beta) with time at a particular point. For all power-law fluids, an discriminates between decelerated currents, with time decreasing aspect ratio (alpha < alpha_n), and accelerated currents, with time-increasing aspect ratio (alpha > alpha_n). Only currents with time-decreasing height (alpha < alpha_beta) and aspect ratio (alpha < alpha_n) respect model assumptions asymptotically; the former constraint is more restrictive than the latter. For inclined channels, a numerical solution in self-similar form is obtained under the hypothesis that the product of the channel inclination theta and the slope of the free-surface is much smaller than unity; this produces a negligible error for theta > 2, and is acceptable for theta > 0.5. The action of gravity in inclined channels is modulated by both the behaviour index n and the shape factor beta. For constant flux, the current reaches at long times a steady state condition with a uniform thickness profile. In steep channels and for sufficiently long currents, the free-surface slope becomes entirely negligible with respect to channel inclination, and the constant thickness profile depends only on n. Theoretical results are validated by comparison with experiments (i) in horizontal and inclined channels with triangular or semicircular cross-section, (ii) with different shear-thinning fluids, and (iii) for constant volume and constant flux conditions. The experimental results show good agreement with theoretical predictions in the long-time regime. Our analysis demonstrates that self-similar solutions are able to capture the essential long-term behaviour of gravity currents in porous media, accounting for diverse effects such as non-Newtonian rheology, presence of boundaries, and channel inclination. This provides a relatively simple framework for sensitivity analysis, and a convenient benchmark for numerical studies.

Combined effect of rheology and confining boundaries on spreading of gravity currents in porous media / Sandro Longo; Valentina Ciriello; Luca Chiapponi; Vittorio Di Federico. - In: ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES. - ISSN 0309-1708. - STAMPA. - 79:(2015), pp. 140-152. [10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.02.016]

Combined effect of rheology and confining boundaries on spreading of gravity currents in porous media

CIRIELLO, VALENTINA;DI FEDERICO, VITTORIO
2015

Abstract

One-dimensional flows of gravity currents within horizontal and inclined porous channels are investigated combining theoretical and experimental analysis to evaluate the joint effects of channel shape and fluid rheology. The parameter beta governs the shape of the channel cross section, while the fluid rheology is characterised by a power-law model with behaviour index n. Self-similar scalings for current length and height are obtained for horizontal and inclined channels when the current volume increases with time as t^alpha. For horizontal channels, the interplay of model parameters alpha, n, and beta governs the front speed, height, and aspect ratio of the current (ratio between the average height and the length). The dependency is modulated by two critical values of alpha, alpha_beta = n/(n+1) and alpha_n = (2 beta + 1)/beta. For all channel shapes, alpha_beta discriminates between currents whose height decreases (alpha < alpha_beta) or increases (alpha > alpha_beta) with time at a particular point. For all power-law fluids, an discriminates between decelerated currents, with time decreasing aspect ratio (alpha < alpha_n), and accelerated currents, with time-increasing aspect ratio (alpha > alpha_n). Only currents with time-decreasing height (alpha < alpha_beta) and aspect ratio (alpha < alpha_n) respect model assumptions asymptotically; the former constraint is more restrictive than the latter. For inclined channels, a numerical solution in self-similar form is obtained under the hypothesis that the product of the channel inclination theta and the slope of the free-surface is much smaller than unity; this produces a negligible error for theta > 2, and is acceptable for theta > 0.5. The action of gravity in inclined channels is modulated by both the behaviour index n and the shape factor beta. For constant flux, the current reaches at long times a steady state condition with a uniform thickness profile. In steep channels and for sufficiently long currents, the free-surface slope becomes entirely negligible with respect to channel inclination, and the constant thickness profile depends only on n. Theoretical results are validated by comparison with experiments (i) in horizontal and inclined channels with triangular or semicircular cross-section, (ii) with different shear-thinning fluids, and (iii) for constant volume and constant flux conditions. The experimental results show good agreement with theoretical predictions in the long-time regime. Our analysis demonstrates that self-similar solutions are able to capture the essential long-term behaviour of gravity currents in porous media, accounting for diverse effects such as non-Newtonian rheology, presence of boundaries, and channel inclination. This provides a relatively simple framework for sensitivity analysis, and a convenient benchmark for numerical studies.
2015
Combined effect of rheology and confining boundaries on spreading of gravity currents in porous media / Sandro Longo; Valentina Ciriello; Luca Chiapponi; Vittorio Di Federico. - In: ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES. - ISSN 0309-1708. - STAMPA. - 79:(2015), pp. 140-152. [10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.02.016]
Sandro Longo; Valentina Ciriello; Luca Chiapponi; Vittorio Di Federico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/472386
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