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Rayleigh invariance allows the estimation of effective CO2 fluxes due to convective dissolution into water-filled fractures
  • Leon Keim,
  • Holger Class
Leon Keim
University of Stuttgart, Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Holger Class
University of Stuttgart, Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems
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Convective dissolution of CO2 is a well-known mechanism in geological storage of CO2 . It is triggered by gravitational instability which leads to the onset of free convection. The phenomenon is well studied in porous media, such as saline aquifers, and the literature provides substantial evidence that onset times and effective flux rates can be estimated based on a characterization of instabilities that uses the Darcy velocity.
This work extends the study of convective dissolution to open water-filled fractures, where non-Darcy regimes govern the induced flow processes. Numerical simulations using a Navier-Stokes model with fluid density dependent on dissolved CO2 concentration were used to compute scenario-specific results for effective CO2 entry rates into an idealized fracture with varying aperture, temperature, and CO2 concentration at the gas-water interface. The results were analyzed in terms of dimensionless quantities. They revealed a Rayleigh invariance of the effective CO2 flux after the complete formation of a quasi-stationary velocity profile, i.e. after a certain entry length. Hence, this invariance can be exploited to estimate the effective CO2 entry rates, which can then be used, in perspective, in upscaled models.
We have studied convective CO2 dissolution for two different fracture settings; the first one relates to karstification scenarios, where CO2 is the dominant driving force, and were stagnant-water conditions in fractures have not yet received attention to date. The second setting is inspired from geological CO2 storage, where the literature provides only studies on convective CO2 dissolution for porous-media flow with Darcy regimes.
25 Apr 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
25 Apr 2024Published in ESS Open Archive