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A benchmark gallery for hierarchical model verification of TH2M coupled process models: Examples for CO2 sequestration and nuclear waste disposal

In this study, we introduce an open-source benchmark gallery for a systematic verification of numerical simulations of coupled multi-field processes in geological storage and sequestration. Here, the focus lies on assessing the integrity of a host rock and/or geological barrier, which requires understanding material failure and behavior under different thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) conditions. To support quality assurance of the simulation workflows, the gallery provides automated benchmarking and peer-reviewed code development.

Since closed-form solutions covering all aspects of non-isothermal two-phase flow in deformable media (TH2M) problems are not available, the verification procedure is subdivided into simpler conceptual models, up to single-variable processes (Grunwald et al., 2022). These reduced complexity problems can be described by semi- or fully analytical solutions. Extensive verification of very basic combinations (T/H/M/HM/TH etc.) was already conducted, therefore, focus lies on the investigation of more complex problems.

In the context of TH2M systems, the gallery includes three cases relevant to CCS:

  • THM problem: Thermally induced expansion of liquid and solid phases resulting in thermal strain in the surrounding solid matrix and fluid displacement. (Booker and Savvidou, 1985; Chaudhry et al., 2019)

  • TH2 problem: Phase change and heat transport in a thermal gradient (Udell and Fitch, 1985; Helmig et al. 1997)

  • TH2M: Heat loss to under- and overburden due to non-isothermal, supercritical CO2 injection into reservoir. (LaForce et al. 2014a and 2014b; Green at al. 2021)

The gallery consists of comprehensive browser-integrated problem descriptions, analytical solutions, and numerical simulations obtained with the open-source simulation tool OpenGeoSys (Bilke et al., 2022).


Kata Kurgyis1, Aqeel Afzal Chaudhry1, Michael Pitz2, Norbert Grunwald3, Jörg Buchwald3, Dmitri Naumov3, Wenqing Wang3, Christoph Lehmann3, Olaf Kolditz3, Jobst Maßmann4, Thomas Nagel1
1Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany; 2Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, Germany;Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany; 3Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany; 4Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023