Date of Award
M.S. in Engineering Science
Geology and Geological Engineering
Robert M. Holt
Andrew M. O'Reilly
Gregg R. Davidson
Image capturing in flow experiments has been used for fluid mechanics research since the early 1970s. Interactions of fluid flow between the vadose zone and permanent water table are of great interest to researchers because this zone is responsible for all recharge waters, pollutant transport and even irrigation efficiency for agriculture. Griffith, et al. (2011) developed an approach where constructed reproducible “geologically realistic” sand configurations are deposited in sand-filled experimental chambers or cells for light-transmitted flow visualization experiments. This method creates reproducible, reverse graded, layered (stratified) thin-slab sand chambers for visualizing multiphase flow through porous media. Reverse-graded stratification of sand chambers mimic many naturally occurring sedimentary deposits. Sand-filled cells use light as nonintrusive tools for measuring water saturation in two-dimensions (2-D). Homogeneous and heterogeneous sand configurations can be produced to visualize the complex physics of the unsaturated zone. The experimental procedure developed by Griffith, et al. (2011) was designed using now outdated and obsolete equipment. We have modernized this approach with new PARKER daedal linear actuator and programed projects/code for multiple configurations. We have also updated the camera with new software and image processing software. Modernization of transmitted-light source, robotic equipment, redesigned experimental chambers, and newly developed analytical procedures have greatly reduced time and cost per experiment. We have demonstrated the functionality of the new equipment to generate micro-layers and macro-heterogeneous sand-filled chambers.
Jones, Aaron A., "Modernized Approach For Generating Micro-Layering And Macro-Heterogeneous Structures In Porous Media For Use In Transmitted-Light Method Flow Visualization Experiments" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 603.
Emphasis: Geological Engineering