The influence of finite size particles on fluid velocity and transport though porous media

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Understanding the coupling between flow, hydrodynamic transport and dispersion of colloids with finite-size in porous media is a long-standing challenge. This problem is relevant for a broad range of natural and engineered subsurface processes, including contaminant and colloidal transport, mixing of bio-chemical compounds, kinetics of reactions and groundwater bio-remediation, but also transport phenomena related to different systems like membranes, or blood flow. While classical models for colloidal transport rely on macro-dispersion theory and do not take into consideration the complex and heterogeneous structure of the porous host medium, recent studies take into consideration the detailed structure of the porous system and its impact on the fluid velocity. However, the impact of confinement condition, represented by the ratio of particles radius a and pore throat size λ, has been overlooked. Here, we use numerical simulations of fluid particle dynamics in resolved porous media to demonstrate that particles confinement affects the fluid macroscopic velocity field u which in turn affects the particles transport itself. Our results show that even for small confinement conditions (a/λ∼2~\%), fluid and transported particles are dynamically re-routed towards more permeable paths. This leads to the emergence of ephemeral laminar vortexes at pore throat entrances and affects the variance and mean fluid velocity.


Original languageEnglish
Article number074501
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85164945261


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Fluid Dynamics

Library keywords