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Title: Measuring porous media velocity fields and grain bed architecture with a quantitative PLIF-based technique

Porous media flows are common in both natural and anthropogenic systems. Mapping these flows in a laboratory setting is challenging and often requires non-intrusive measurement techniques, such as particle image velocimetry (PIV) coupled with refractive index matching (RIM). RIM-coupled PIV allows the mapping of velocity fields around transparent solids by analyzing the movement of neutrally buoyant micron-sized seeding particles. The use of this technique in a porous medium can be problematic because seeding particles adhere to grains, which causes the grain bed to lose transparency and can obstruct pore flows. Another non-intrusive optical technique, planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), can be paired with RIM and does not have this limitation because fluorescent dye is used instead of particles, but it has been chiefly used for qualitative flow visualization. Here, we propose a quantitative PLIF-based methodology to map both porous media flow fields and porous media architecture. Velocity fields are obtained by tracking the advection-dominated movement of the fluorescent dye plume front within a porous medium. We also propose an automatic tracking algorithm that quantifies 2D velocity components as the plume moves through space in both an Eulerian and a Lagrangian framework. We apply this algorithm to three data sets: a synthetic data set and two laboratory experiments. Performance of this algorithm is reported by the mean (bias error,B) and standard deviation (random error,SD) of the residuals between its results and the reference data. For the synthetic data, the algorithm produces maximum errors ofB & SD= 32% & 23% in the Eulerian framework, respectively, andB & SD= −0.04% & 3.9% in the Lagrangian framework. The small-scale laboratory experimental data requires the Eulerian framework and produce errors ofB & SD= −0.5% & 33%. The Lagrangian framework is used on the large-scale laboratory experimental data and produces errors ofB & SD= 5% & 44%. Mapping the porous media architecture shows negligible error for reconstructing calibration grains of known dimensions.

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Publisher / Repository:
IOP Publishing
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Measurement Science and Technology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Article No. 125805
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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