Applied to Flow and Transport in Fractured Porous Media 

Andres.jpgAndrés Peratta graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and has recently completed his PhD at WIT entitled ‘BEM applied to Flow and Transport in Fractured Porous Media’. The external examiner was Prof Luiz Wrobel, Departmental Professor and Programme Director in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Brunel University. Prof Wrobel is a distinguished academic in the field of Boundary Elements related to fluid mechanics, heat transfer, acoustics and corrosion. The internal examiner was Dr Bob Adey, Head of the Industrial Research Division at WIT.

The objective of the research was to develop a new numerical approach for the three dimensional modelling of flow and transient solute transport in fractured porous media which would provide an accurate and efficient treatment of 3D complex geometrics and inhomogeneity distributions. For this reason, and in order to eliminate as much as possible the number of degrees of freedom, the fracture network, fractures and fractures intersections, were solved with a coupled 2D-1D model while the porous matrix was solved independently with a 3D model. The interaction between both models was accounted for by a coupling iterative technique. In this way, it was possible to improve efficiency and reduce CPU usage by avoiding 3D mesh refinements of the fractures. The approach was based on the discrete-fracture model in which the exact geometry and location of each fracture in the network was provided as input. The numerical solution was based on a multi-dimensional coupling strategy implemented using the Boundary Element Method Multi Domain (BEM-MD) scheme for transport. Stability, accuracy and efficiency measurements were included in the thesis as well as validation results and practical applications. Accurate results and high efficiency were obtained and are reported in the thesis.

Andrés was congratulated by the examiners on the excellence of his research and both recommended the award of Doctor of Philosophy unequivocally. Andrés is now a member of the research staff of WIT.

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