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Subsurface Flow Blog Posts

Coupling Heat Transfer with Subsurface Porous Media Flow

April 24, 2014

In the second part of our Geothermal Energy series, we focus on the coupled heat transport and subsurface flow processes that determine the thermal development of the subsurface due to geothermal heat production. The described processes are demonstrated in an example model of a hydrothermal doublet system.

Exploring Below the Surface with a Poroelastic Analysis

April 1, 2014

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is regarded as one of the most famous landmarks in the world, although geotechnical engineers probably view it more as a construction gaffe. To prevent such a leaning fate, it could be useful to run an analysis in order to predict possible subsidence due to poroelastic deformation.

Modeling Geothermal Processes with COMSOL Software

March 28, 2014

In this first entry of our new Geothermal Energy series, we introduce the concept of modeling geothermal processes and the many physical phenomena involved. We also show you an example model of a borehole heat exchanger.

Porous Media Flow Simulations for the Mining Industry with AMPHOS 21

October 17, 2013

The mining industry pre-dates sophisticated simulation software and the computers it runs on by thousands of years. As an essential modern industry, however, the technical and analytical capabilities offered by AMPHOS 21, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, are critical for both understanding and optimizing mine operations. Recently, we sponsored a webinar together with NASA Tech Briefs on “Mining and Hydrogeology: Porous Media Flow Simulations with COMSOL”, featuring environmental consultants Jorge Molinero and Elena Abarca from AMPHOS 21. Here are some of […]

Simulating Pesticide Runoff, the Effects of Aldicarb

August 8, 2013

When pesticides are used in crops to control pests, their effects on the environment continue even after they have served their purpose. Pesticides can leach into the soil and water sources that both humans and animals depend on, spreading harmful chemicals to the surrounding ecosystem. Over time, their active ingredients are detoxified through different reactions that occur after their release, eventually degrading them into harmless products. Understanding the pesticide runoff patterns and mobility of various pesticides before and after they […]

Density-Driven Fluid Flow in Porous Media

July 23, 2013

There are many different forces that can induce flow in fluids, such as kinetic energy, pressure gradients, concentration gradients, and many more. In natural systems, one effect that can initiate fluid flow in a still fluid is a change in density. This density change will result in a change in the fluid’s buoyancy, thus inciting flow as the denser fluid sinks and the less dense, buoyant, fluid rises. You’re probably most familiar with these changes in density occurring due to […]

Discrete Fracture in Rocks

April 5, 2013

Have you ever noticed how water can flow through rocks and leave a trace of its passage by covering the surface with a patina, like white stripes? The whole process is quite complex but can roughly be explained by breaking it down into two coupled effects: gravity and chemical reactions. Gravity causes the water to infiltrate through discrete fractures (hard rocks) or pores (sedimentary rocks), until it charges the groundwater supply below to a point where excess water will surface […]

Metamaterials Make Physics Seem Like Magic

February 26, 2013

Metamaterials are a new and emerging technology with vast potential to reshape our views on what is and isn’t possible in this physical world of ours. Unlocking the mysteries and overcoming the obstacles associated with metamaterials would lead to a host of technological advances once thought impossible by even the most imaginative of individuals. From making computer chips smaller and faster than the most advanced current ones, to protecting structures from earthquakes, to developing imaging technology that doesn’t harm tissue […]


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