On Pore Space Partitioning in Relation to Network Model Building for Fluid Flow Computation in Porous Media
From microtomography to pore networks
ABSTRACT. We present an improved method for generating a representative network model (NM) of a porous medium from the structure of its pore space. We differentiate the problem of positioning pore bodies (PB) and delimiting them via pore throats (PT). From a binary 3D microtomographic reconstruction of a porous material, we use the common watershed approach on the Euclidean distance map, examining several aspects in detail: the skeleton and the necessary pre-processing to remove digitization artefacts, the conversion to a graph that will support the NM, along with the post-processing needed to account for geometric features, delimitation of the PB by a watershed method and comparison to direct PT construction, and finally evaluation of the robustness of the NM generation by application on synthesized images of varying resolutions.
KEYWORDS: porous media, pore networks, skeletonization, x-ray microtomography
Porous materials are studied in a wide variety of fields, such as Earth sciences, petrophysics, paper industry, metallurgy, etc. In these applications, pore scale fluid flow is of prime ...