Capillary pressure at irregularly shaped pore throats: Implications for water retention characteristics

Hyoung Suk Suh, Dong Hun Kang, Jaewon Jang, Kwang Yeom Kim, Tae Sup Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The random shapes of pore throats in geomaterials hinder accurate estimation of capillary pressure, and conventional pore network models that simply use the Young–Laplace equation assuming circular pore throats overestimate the capillary pressure. As a solution to this problem that does not complicate the pore network model or slow its implementation, we propose a new morphological analysis method to correlate the capillary pressure at an irregular pore channel with its cross-sectional geometry using lattice Boltzmann (LB) simulation and Mayer and Stowe–Princen theory. Geometry-based shape factors for pore throats are shown here to correlate strongly with the capillary pressure obtained by LB simulation. Water retention curves obtained by incorporating the morphological calibration into conventional pore network simulation and their correlative scheme agree well with experimental data. The suggested method is relevant to pore-scale processes such as geological CO2 sequestration, methane bubbling from wetlands, and enhanced carbon recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Capillary pressure
  • Irregular pore channel
  • Lattice Boltzmann simulation
  • Shape factor
  • Water retention curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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