The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences

From Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (
For more information, please contact the author.

Bureau Seminar, March 25, 2011

Buoyant fluid migration in heterogeneous geologic media

Link to streaming video TBA: available 03.25.2011 at 8:55am

Dr. Tip MeckelDr. Lesli Wood
Dr. Tip Meckel
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology

This presentation explores the utilization of high resolution geologic models for understanding buoyant fluid migration and accumulation at a range of scales. It begins with an initial brief discussion of the differences between viscous-dominated (Darcy) and capillary-dominated (percolation) fluid flow, with emphasis on the latter. Invasion percolation modeling is typically used for understanding hydrocarbon migration and is being explored for evaluating CO2 migration in storage contexts. The majority of the presentation will address the influence of depositional heterogeneity (permeability and threshold pressure) at laminae-scale by presenting modeling results from invasion percolation simulations on a 2.5 million-cell 2D digital model of a meter-scale sedimentary relief peel from an intensely studied (Shell 1960's) modern point bar of the Brazos River near Richmond, Texas. Modification of buoyant fluid migration behavior due to the influence of ambient fluid pressure gradients (hydrodynamics) is visualized and fundamental behavior is summarized for the model for a range of simulated properties.

Late this year, BEG will take delivery of a state-of-the-art marine 3D seismic acquisition system (P-Cable), which will provide sub-regional datasets from near offshore prospects for the ongoing Gulf of Mexico CO2 storage study. I will conclude with a brief discussion of the relevance of the high-resolution meter-scale peel simulations presented for modeling fluid migration at basin scale informed by high-resolution seismic data.



Department of Geological Sciences
Institute for Geophysics
The University of Texas
Contact information
Maps and Directions
Media Contacts
Employment Opportunities
Bureau Reports
©2010 Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin