Laboratory Experiments and Simulations on the Significance of Non-Equilibrium Effect in the Capillary Pressure-Saturation Relationship

  • S. Majid Hassanizadeh
  • Oubol Oung
  • Sabine Manthey
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 93)


Recent theories indicate that capillary pressure is perhaps not only a function of saturation but may also depend on the time rate of change of saturation. This is known as the dynamic or non-equilibrium effect. There is compelling experimental evidence reported in the literature that the non-equilibrium effect is observable, quantifiable, and significant. However, almost all reported experiments relate to unsaturated systems. In this work, we report on a recent series of experiments involving water and PCE. Quasi-static as well as dynamic capillary pressure curves for primary drainage, main drainage, and main imbibition, are measured. The data are used to estimate the non-equilibrium capillary pressure coefficient. Finally, a continuum-scale two-phase flow model has been employed to simulate the experiments. Variations of average pressures and average water saturation with time are calculated and compared with measured curves. It is found that the displacement process takes place much faster in simulations than in experiments. This is believed to be due to presence of dynamic effects not captured with the numerical model.


Capillary Pressure Dynamic Capillary Pressure Average Water Saturation SRURXV PHGLD 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Majid Hassanizadeh
    • 1
  • Oubol Oung
    • 2
    • 4
  • Sabine Manthey
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of HydrologyFaculty of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesDelftNetherlands
  2. 2.University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Hydromechanics and Modeling of Hydrosystems, Institute of Hydraulic EngineeringUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  4. 4.Environmental DepartmentGeoDelftDelftThe Netherlands

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