Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 815–829 | Cite as

The Effective Permeability of Cracks and Interfaces in Porous Media

  • Franck J. VernereyEmail author


The presence of interfaces in fluid/solid biphasic media is known to strongly influence their behavior both in terms of solid deformation and fluids flow. Mathematical models have traditionally represented these interfaces as lines of no-thickness and whose behavior is given in terms of effective permeabilities whose physical meaning is often disconnected to the microscopic nature of the interface. This article aims to reconcile macroscopic and microscopic interface representations by investigating how the nature of microscopic flows and pressures in the interface can be used to explain its macroscopic behavior. By invoking a proper thickness average operation, we derive an closed form expression that relates the effective interfaces permeabilities to its microscopic properties. In particular, we find that the effective interface permeabilities are strongly influenced by three factors: the ratio of bulk and interface permeabilities, the fluid viscosity, and the physical thickness of the interface.


Effective permeability Porous interface Darcy–Brinkman law 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural EngineeringUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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