Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

TOTAL Chair in Geological Fluid Mechanics



+44 (0)20 7594 6538m.d.jackson




1.34Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Debbabi, Y and Jackson, MD and Hampson, GJ and Salinas, P},
doi = {10.1007/s11242-017-0915-z},
journal = {Transport in Porous Media},
pages = {183--206},
title = {Capillary Heterogeneity Trapping and Crossflow in Layered Porous Media},
url = {},
volume = {120},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We examine the effect of capillary and viscous forces on the displacement of one fluid by a second, immiscible fluid across and along parallel layers of contrasting porosity, and relative permeability, as well as previously explored contrasts in absolute permeability and capillary pressure. We consider displacements with wetting, intermediate-wetting and non-wetting injected phases. Flow is characterized using six independent dimensionless numbers and a dimensionless storage efficiency, which is numerically equivalent to the recovery efficiency. Results are directly applicable to geologic carbon storage and hydrocarbon production. We predict how the capillary–viscous force balance influences storage efficiency as a function of a small number of key dimensionless parameters, and provide a framework to support mechanistic interpretations of complex field or experimental data, and numerical model predictions, through the use of simple dimensionless models. When flow is directed across layers, we find that capillary heterogeneity traps the non-wetting phase, regardless of whether it is the injected or displaced phase. However, minimal trapping occurs when the injected phase is intermediate-wetting or when high-permeability layers contain a smaller moveable volume of fluid than low-permeability layers. A dimensionless capillary-to-viscous number defined using the layer thickness rather than the more commonly used system length is most relevant to predict capillary heterogeneity trapping. When flow is directed along layers, we show that, regardless of wettability, increasing capillary crossflow reduces the distance between the leading edges of the injected phase in each layer and increases storage efficiency. This may be counter-intuitive when the injected phase is non-wetting. Crossflow has a significant impact on storage efficiency only when high-permeability layers contain a smaller moveable volume of fluid than low-permeability layers. In that case, capillary he
AU - Debbabi,Y
AU - Jackson,MD
AU - Hampson,GJ
AU - Salinas,P
DO - 10.1007/s11242-017-0915-z
EP - 206
PY - 2017///
SN - 0169-3913
SP - 183
TI - Capillary Heterogeneity Trapping and Crossflow in Layered Porous Media
T2 - Transport in Porous Media
UR -
UR -
VL - 120
ER -