Civil and Environmental Engineering


Document Type


Date of this Version



Geofluids (2016) 16, 329–341

doi: 10.1111/gfl.12152


2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


Water acidification follows CO2 injection and leads to reactive fluid transport through pores and rock fractures, with potential implications to reservoirs and wells in CO2 geologic storage and enhanced oil recovery. Kinetic rate laws for dissolution reactions in calcite and anorthite are combined with the Navier-Stokes law and advection–diffusion transport to perform geometry-coupled numerical simulations in order to study the evolution of chemical reactions, species concentration, and fracture morphology. Results are summarized as a function of two dimensionless parame- ters: the Damko€hler number Da which is the ratio between advection and reaction times, and the transverse Peclet number Pe defined as the ratio between the time for diffusion across the fracture and the time for advection along the fracture. Reactant species are readily consumed near the inlet in a carbonate reservoir when the flow velocity is low (low transverse Peclet number and Da > 10-1). At high flow velocities, diffusion fails to homogenize the concentration field across the fracture (high transverse Peclet number Pe > 10-1). When the reaction rate is low as in anorthite reservoirs (Da < 10-1), reactant species are more readily transported toward the outlet. At a given Peclet number, a lower Damkohler number causes the flow channel to experience a more uniform aperture enlargement along the length of the fracture. When the length-to-aperture ratio is sufficiently large, say l/d > 30, the system response resembles the solution for 1D reactive fluid transport. A decreased length-to-aperture ratio slows the diffusive transport of reactant species to the mineral fracture surface, and analyses of fracture networks must take into consideration both the length and slenderness of individual fractures in addition to Pe and Da numbers.