Computational Geosciences

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 901–911 | Cite as

On the time scales of nonlinear instability in miscible displacement porous media flow

  • Maria Teres EleniusEmail author
  • Klaus Johannsen
Original Paper


In this paper, we analyze the time scales associated with instable fingering induced by density contrasts in miscible displacement porous media flow. We perform numerical simulations of a two-dimensional domain with boundaries that are closed to flow and identify the three regimes of the dynamics, namely the development of a stable diffusive boundary layer, the onset and growth of instabilities, and the fully nonlinear dynamics. Special focus is given to the onset of the fully nonlinear regime. The results are generic in the sense that there are no parameters in the non-dimensional model problem. Large ensembles are studied and an error estimate is given based on the combined effect of numerical errors and sampling errors. The nonlinear time scales show a dependence on the size of initial perturbations. We estimate this size for three formations used for CO2 storage and find that the onset of enhanced convective mixing is considerably delayed compared with the linear onset time.


Porous media Convection Instability Numerical simulation Error estimation CO2 storage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Uni CIPRBergenNorway

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