Plumes are a characteristic feature of convective flow through porous media. Their dynamics are an important part of numerous geological processes, ranging from mixing in magma chambers to the convective dissolution of sequestered carbon dioxide. In this talk, I will discuss models for the spread of convective plumes in a heterogeneous porous environment. I will focus particularly on the effect of thin, roughly horizontal, low-permeability barriers to flow, which provide a generic form of heterogeneity in geological settings, and are a particularly widespread feature of sedimentary formations. With the aid of high-resolution numerical simulations, I will explore how a plume spreads and flows in the presence of one or more of these layers, and will briefly consider the implications of these findings in physical settings.
- Mathematical Geoscience Seminar