Incomplete mixing in porous media: Todd-Longstaff upscaling approach versus a dynamic local grid refinement method

Matteo Cusini*, Robin Gielisse, Hans Groot, Cor van Kruijsdijk, Hadi Hajibeygi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


Field-scale simulation of flow in porous media in presence of incomplete mixing demands for high-resolution computational grids, much beyond the scope of state-of-the-art simulators. Hence, the upscaling-based Todd and Longstaff (TL) approach is typically used, where coarse grid cells are employed with effective mixing fluid properties and parameters found by matching results obtained with fully resolved reference simulations. Dynamic local grid refinement (DLGR) techniques, on the other hand, only employ fine-scale grid resolution where the fully mixed assumption is not valid. The rest of the domain is then solved at coarser resolutions, where the fully mixed assumption is valid. Here, we assess the accuracy and the robustness of DLGR- and TL-based simulations of miscible displacements in homogeneous and heterogeneous porous media. Due to the intrinsic uncertainty within the unstable displacement nature of the studied incomplete mixing processes, the performance of the methods is also investigated based on a range of acceptable solutions rather than relying only on a single reference one. Systematic numerical results illustrate that the DLGR method is much more robust and accurate than the upscaling-based TL approach, and employs only a small fraction of fine-scale reference grids. Especially, the TL upscaling results (though history matched with computationally expensive fine-scale results) are very sensitive to the change of the simulation parameters. Based on this study, we propose a dynamic multilevel simulation strategy for efficient and reliable large-scale simulation of the complex incomplete mixing processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373–397
Number of pages25
JournalComputational Geosciences
Volume23 (2019)
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Algebraic dynamic multilevel method
  • Dynamic local grid refinement
  • Incomplete mixing in porous media
  • Todd-Longstaff model
  • Viscous fingering


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