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Proceedings Paper

Application of x-ray microtomography to environmental fluid flow problems
Author(s): Dorthe Wildenschild; Katherine A. Culligan; Britt S. B. Christensen
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Paper Abstract

Many environmental processes are controlled by the micro-scale interaction of water and air with the solid phase (soils, sediments, rock) in pore spaces within the subsurface. The distribution in time and space of fluids in pores ultimately controls subsurface flow and contaminant transport relevant to groundwater resource management, contaminant remediation, and agriculture. Many of these physical processes operative at the pore-scale cannot be directly investigated using conventional hydrologic techniques, however recent developments in synchrotron-based micro-imaging have made it possible to observe and quantify pore-scale processes non-invasively. Micron-scale resolution makes it possible to track fluid flow within individual pores and therefore facilitates previously unattainable measurements. We report on experiments performed at the GSECARS** (Advanced Photon Source) microtomography facility and have measured properties such as porosity, fluid saturation and distribution within the pore space, as well as interfacial characteristics of the fluids involved (air, water, contaminant). Different image processing techniques were applied following mathematical reconstruction to produce accurate measurements of the physical flow properties. These new micron-scale measurements make it possible to test existing and new theory, as well as emerging numerical modeling schemes aimed at the pore scale.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5535, Developments in X-Ray Tomography IV, (26 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.559056
Show Author Affiliations
Dorthe Wildenschild, Oregon State Univ. (United States)
Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Katherine A. Culligan, Univ. of Notre Dame (United States)
Britt S. B. Christensen, Technicial Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5535:
Developments in X-Ray Tomography IV
Ulrich Bonse, Editor(s)

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