Stochastic generation of explicit pore structures by thresholding Gaussian random fields

Jeffrey D. Hyman, Larrabee C. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

We provide a description and computational investigation of an efficient method to stochastically generate realistic pore structures. Smolarkiewicz and Winter introduced this specific method in pores resolving simulation of Darcy flows (Smolarkiewicz and Winter, 2010 [1]) without giving a complete formal description or analysis of the method, or indicating how to control the parameterization of the ensemble. We address both issues in this paper. The method consists of two steps. First, a realization of a correlated Gaussian field, or topography, is produced by convolving a prescribed kernel with an initial field of independent, identically distributed random variables. The intrinsic length scales of the kernel determine the correlation structure of the topography. Next, a sample pore space is generated by applying a level threshold to the Gaussian field realization: points are assigned to the void phase or the solid phase depending on whether the topography over them is above or below the threshold. Hence, the topology and geometry of the pore space depend on the form of the kernel and the level threshold. Manipulating these two user prescribed quantities allows good control of pore space observables, in particular the Minkowski functionals. Extensions of the method to generate media with multiple pore structures and preferential flow directions are also discussed. To demonstrate its usefulness, the method is used to generate a pore space with physical and hydrological properties similar to a sample of Berea sandstone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Volume277
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2014

Keywords

  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Minkowski functionals
  • Porous media
  • Stochastic methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

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