Models of infiltration into homogeneous and fractal porous media with localized sources

10 Apr 2019  ·  Fabio D. A. Aarao Reis, Vaughan R. Voller ·

We study a random walk infiltration (RWI) model, in homogeneous and in fractal media, with localized sources at their boundaries. The particles released at a source, which is maintained at a constant density, execute unbiased random walks over a lattice; it represents solute infiltration by diffusion into a medium in contact with a reservoir... A scaling approach shows that the infiltrated length, area, or volume evolves in time as the number of distinct sites visited by a single random walker in the same medium. This is consistent with simulations of the lattice model and exact and numerical solutions of the corresponding diffusion equation. In a Sierpinski carpet, the infiltrated area is expected to evolve as t^{D_F/D_W} (Alexander-Orbach relation), where D_F is the fractal dimension of the medium and D_W is the random walk dimension; the numerical integration of the diffusion equation supports this relation and improves results of lattice random walk simulations. In a Menger sponge in which D_F>D_W (a fractal with a dimension close to 3), a linear time increase of the infiltrated volume is predicted and confirmed numerically. Thus, no evidence of fractality can be observed in infiltrated volumes or masses in media where random walks are not recurrent, although the tracer diffusion is anomalous. We compare our results with a fluid infiltration model in which the pressure head is constant at the source and the front displacement is driven by the local gradient of that head. Exact or numerical solutions in two and three dimensions and in a carpet show that this type of fluid infiltration is in the same universality class of RWI, with an equivalence between the head and the particle concentration. These results set a relation between different infiltration processes with localized sources and the recurrence properties of random walks in the same media. read more

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Statistical Mechanics Soft Condensed Matter Cellular Automata and Lattice Gases Fluid Dynamics