Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Pore-scale analysis of permeability reduction resulting from colloid deposition
Article first published online: 4 APR 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 35, Issue 7, April 2008
How to Cite
2008), Pore-scale analysis of permeability reduction resulting from colloid deposition, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L07404, doi:10.1029/2007GL033077., , and (
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2008
- Article first published online: 4 APR 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 6 FEB 2008
- Manuscript Received: 26 DEC 2007
- pore structure;
- colloid deposition;
 High-energy, synchrotron-based x-ray difference micro-tomography (XDMT) was combined with lattice Boltzmann simulations to assess changes in pore-scale flow patterns and bulk permeability resulting from colloid deposition in a granular porous medium. The detailed structural information obtained from XDMT was used to define internal boundary conditions for simulations of pore fluid flow both with and without colloidal deposits. As colloids accumulated in the pore space, the mean tortuosity increased and the tortuosity distribution became multi-modal, indicating the development of macro-scale heterogeneity. These structural changes also produced large reductions in bulk permeability that were not captured by empirical or semi-empirical estimators based on the first-order geometric properties of the porous medium. This work demonstrates that coupling between fluid flow and particle transport produces heterogeneities at the sub-millimeter scale that greatly affect the hydrogeologic properties of natural porous media.