A new partial-bounceback lattice-Boltzmann method for fluid flow through heterogeneous media

Stuart D.C. Walsh, Holly Burwinkle, Martin O. Saar

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Partial-bounceback lattice-Boltzmann methods employ a probabilistic meso-scale model that varies individual lattice node properties to reflect a material's local permeability. These types of models have great potential in a range of geofluid, and other science and engineering, simulations of complex fluid flow. However, there are several different possible approaches for formulating partial-bounceback algorithms. This paper introduces a new partial-bounceback algorithm and compares it to two pre-existing partial-bounceback models. Unlike the two other partial-bounceback methods, the new approach conserves mass in heterogeneous media and shows improvements in simulating buoyancy-driven flow as well as diffusive processes. Further, the new model is better-suited for parallel processing implementations, resulting in faster simulations. Finally, we derive an analytical expression for calculating the permeability in all three models; a critical component for accurately matching simulation parameters to physical permeabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1193
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Heterogeneous porous media
  • Lattice-Boltzmann
  • Partial-bounceback
  • Permeability
  • Porosity

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