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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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Water/NAPL Distribution Copyright 1988 CRC Press When water (blue) and NAPL (red) are present in the glass beads, the water behaves as the wetting phase and the NAPL as the non-wetting phase. The interfaces are curved inward toward the water and solid surfaces. These shapes indicate that the water is more strongly attracted to the solid surfaces than is the NAPL. Thus the water is the wetting phase. That the NAPL is non-wetting is further indicated by its location inside the large pores. The fluid distribution is such that the water is nearest the solid surfaces and the NAPL the farthest away.

In this case the isolated droplets of NAPL represent its residual saturation. Again, the droplets are unconnected, so the NAPL cannot flow. This configuration was created by dripping in perchloroethene and then allowing it to flow out. The droplets remain as the isolated residual.

The color photograph on this page is reprinted with permission from Dense Chlorinated Solvents, Friedrich Schwille, Translated by James F. Pankow, 1988, Copyright CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida c 1988

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