Flow in a porous matrix with anisotropic structure

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The flow of a viscous fluid through a porous matrix undergoing only infinitesimal deformation is described in terms of intrinsic variables, namely, the density, velocity and stress occurring in coherent elements of each material. This formulation arises naturally when macroscopic interfaces are conceptually partitioned into area fractions of fluid–fluid, fluid–solid, and solid–solid contact. Such theory has been shown to yield consistent jump conditions of mass, momentum and energy across discontinuities, either internal or an external boundary, unlike the standard mixture theory jump conditions. In the previous formulation, the matrix structure has been considered isotropic; that is, the area fractions are independent of the interface orientation. Here, that is not assumed, so in particular, the cross-section area of a continuous fluid tube depends on its orientation, which influences the directional fluxes, and in turn the directional permeability, anisotropy of the structure. The simplifications for slow viscous flow are examined, and particularly for an isotropic linearly elastic matrix in which area partitioning induces anisotropic elastic response of the mixture. A final specialization to an incompressible fluid and stationary matrix leads to potential flow, and a simple plane flow solution is presented to illustrate the effects of anisotropic permeability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Porous matrix structure
  • Anisotropic permeability
  • Infinitesimal deformation
  • Slow viscous flow

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