Renormalization group theory outperforms other approaches in statistical comparison between upscaling techniques for porous media

Shravan Hanasoge, Umang Agarwal, Kunj Tandon, J. M.Vianney A. Koelman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Determining the pressure differential required to achieve a desired flow rate in a porous medium requires solving Darcy's law, a Laplace-like equation, with a spatially varying tensor permeability. In various scenarios, the permeability coefficient is sampled at high spatial resolution, which makes solving Darcy's equation numerically prohibitively expensive. As a consequence, much effort has gone into creating upscaled or low-resolution effective models of the coefficient while ensuring that the estimated flow rate is well reproduced, bringing to the fore the classic tradeoff between computational cost and numerical accuracy. Here we perform a statistical study to characterize the relative success of upscaling methods on a large sample of permeability coefficients that are above the percolation threshold. We introduce a technique based on mode-elimination renormalization group theory (MG) to build coarse-scale permeability coefficients. Comparing the results with coefficients upscaled using other methods, we find that MG is consistently more accurate, particularly due to its ability to address the tensorial nature of the coefficients. MG places a low computational demand, in the manner in which we have implemented it, and accurate flow-rate estimates are obtained when using MG-upscaled permeabilities that approach or are beyond the percolation threshold.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number033313
    JournalPhysical Review E
    Volume96
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 25 2017

    Fingerprint

    Upscaling
    group theory
    Group Theory
    Renormalization Group
    Porous Media
    Permeability
    permeability
    Coefficient
    coefficients
    Flow Rate
    flow velocity
    Percolation Threshold
    Darcy Equation
    differential pressure
    Darcy's Law
    Numerical Accuracy
    thresholds
    Laplace equation
    tradeoffs
    Laplace

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistics and Probability
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics

    Cite this

    Renormalization group theory outperforms other approaches in statistical comparison between upscaling techniques for porous media. / Hanasoge, Shravan; Agarwal, Umang; Tandon, Kunj; Koelman, J. M.Vianney A.

    In: Physical Review E, Vol. 96, No. 3, 033313, 25.09.2017.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Hanasoge, Shravan ; Agarwal, Umang ; Tandon, Kunj ; Koelman, J. M.Vianney A. / Renormalization group theory outperforms other approaches in statistical comparison between upscaling techniques for porous media. In: Physical Review E. 2017 ; Vol. 96, No. 3.
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