Numerical simulation of density-driven non-Newtonian fluid flow

Yu Shan Li, Ching Yao Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Density-driven flow is numerically studied. The sinking fluid is set as a power-law non-Newtonian fluid with a higher density than the environmental fluid. During the simulation process, saturation concentration is fixed on the upper boundary; thus downward plumes are formed because of gravitational instability. The dissolution flux undergoes a series of changes, from the initially diffusion-dominated regime to the convection-dominated regime due to the appearance of finger structures, and then to the transition of finger structures merging into larger plumes. Finally, it enters the shutdown regime as the plumes start to reach the impermeable bottom boundary. In the process of plume sinking, different fluid properties have an important impact on the downward velocity, shape of plumes and the dissolution flux of the flow field. The tip velocity of the plumes is slowed until the high-concentration fluid is supplied to further push the plumes downward. For the shear-thinning fluid ambient fluid, this phenomenon is even more drastic. However, for shear-thickening fluid, this phenomenon is almost not observed. In addition, unlike the condition of a Newtonian fluid, protoplumes on the original interface appear at the early stage. Prominent protoplumes have developed between the primary plumes in non-Newtonian fluids throughout the entire process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mechanics
StatePublished - 2023


  • CO2 EOR
  • density-driven flow
  • non-Newtonian fluid
  • power-law fluid


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