Breakdown of similarity solutions: a perturbation approach for front propagation during foam improved oil recovery

Carlos Torres-Ulloa, Paul Grassia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The pressure-driven growth model has been employed to study a propagating foam front in the foam improved oil recovery process. A first order solution of the model proves the existence of a concave corner on the front, which initially migrates downwards at a well defined speed that differs from the speed of front material points. At later times however, it remains unclear how the concave corner moves and interacts with points on the front either side of it, specifically whether material points are extracted from the corner or consumed by it. To address these questions, a second order solution is proposed, perturbing the aforementioned first order solution. However the perturbation is challenging to develop, owing to the nature of the first order solution, which is a similarity solution that exhibits strong spatio-temporal non-uniformities. The second order solution indicates that the corner’s vertical velocity component decreases as the front migrates, and that points initially extracted from the front are subsequently consumed by it. Overall, the perturbation approach developed herein demonstrates how early-time similarity solutions exhibiting strong spatio-temporal non-uniformities break down as time proceeds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20200691
Number of pages25
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2245
Early online date20 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2021


  • pressure-driven growth model
  • foams
  • front propagation
  • porous media
  • Taylor expansion


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