Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Denis O’Carroll

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Newson


Two-phase flow occurs in the unsaturated zone and in aquifers contaminated with non­ aqueous phase liquids. The macroscopic flow equations used to predict two-phase flow typically utilizes a capillary pressure-saturation relationship determined under equilibrium conditions. Theoretical and experimental evidence have indicated that this relationship may not be unique, but may depend on the saturation rate. To quantify this dependency, direct measurements of equilibrium and dynamic capillary pressure­ saturation relationships were made. For a given saturation, capillary pressure measured under dynamic conditions was shown to be larger than capillary pressure measured under equilibrium conditions, consistent with thermodynamic theory [1]. The damping coefficient τ, was shown to be dependant on porous media properties and the desaturation rate, and independent of the domain size. This implies that two-phase flow simulators should account for dynamic flow when saturation rates are high and for porous media with low intrinsic permeability and high air entry pressures.



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