Pore network
models represent continuous interconnected pore spaces
by discrete networks of pores and pore throats. It is a
fundamental technique in the sense that it allows
porescale behavior to be studied. At the same time, the
significant approximations that are made (to both
structure and flow) make it much more computationally
efficient than direct solution of the equations of
motion. The main benefit of this approach is the ability
to model much larger length scales than with
streamlinescale techniques. For this reason, network
modeling represents an essential bridge between rigorous
streamlinescale modeling and largescale continuum
models.
The image shows a small section
of sandstone and its associated network (a onetoone
mapping of the pore space). Networks are often depicted
visually by a ballandstick structure. However, modern
networks are described using rigorous geometric
parameters, which allows for quantitative modeling of
many important phenomena.
