• Zielgruppen
  • Suche

Workshop on Interfaces and Interfacial Displacement in Unsaturated Porous Media


The three-days workshop on Interfaces and Interfacial Displacement in Unsaturated Porous Media will take place at

March 10 - 12, 2015 in Potsdam, Germany.

A flyer for the workshop can be downloaded here.


The workshop aims to provide a platform for scientific exchange among researchers working on displacement processes in porous media such as evaporationi, infiltration and redistribution using novel experimental, numerical and theoretical approaches. We aim at bringing together a wide range of disciplines to address questions such as:

  • How can we model and predict mass and energy exchange between the upper soil and the atmospheric boundary layer? What are the relevant scales of structures and flow regimes that determine evaporation rates?
  • How can we quantify the morphology of fluid distribution during displacement and what are important properties that determine the displacement process on a larger scale? Can we derive upscaling schemes that allow predicting displacement on larger scales?
  • Boundary conditions close to the soil surface are often dynamic with changing directions and involve phase changes. How are these dynamics manifested in component transport within the fluids?
  • Can we quantify ranges for the limitations for our standard modeling concepts, such as the Richards equations, based on material and fluid properties, structural information and boundary conditions?

Keynote Speakers

  • Marco Dentz (IDAEA/CSIC Barcelona, Spain)
  • Majid Hassanizadeh (Institute of Environmental Geohydrology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)
  • Patrick Jenny (Institute of Fluid Dynamics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Siegfried Raasch (Institute of Meteorology, Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany)
  • Denis O'Carroll (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario, Canada)
  • Kate Smits (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, USA)
  • Nima Shokri (School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, University of Manchester, United Kingdom)


To see the program, click here.


  • The porous medium-free flow interface: from interactions at the pore scale to transfer processes between the landsurface and the atmosphere

Exchange processes at the land surface play an important role in the water and energy balances of terrestrial systems. From the pore to field scale, these exchange processes have practical implications with respect to irrigation management but also with respect to the effect of land use and climate change on water and energy balances of larger regions, continents and the globe. Also for other porous systems (construction materials, paper, food, …) exchange processes between the porous material and a free air flow are of practical concern. However, predictions of these exchange processes as a function of changing driving forces and properties of the porous medium or land surface are prone to large uncertainties. In this session, we would like to invite contributions that present advancements in modeling, process description, and measurements of exchange processes from the local or pore scale up to the field scale.

  • Pore scale dynamics of fluid interfaces and their manifestation at the continuum scale

Displacement and rearrangement of fluid/liquid interfaces at the pore scale are dominated by processes and velocities that are not properly represented at the continuum scale (Darcy scale), limiting the predictive power of standard modeling approaches. The session solicits contributions on quantification of pore scale dynamics and on innovative approaches to upscale these highly dynamic processes to the continuum scale.

  • Component transport in dynamic flow patterns

The flow patterns generated by movement of different fluids are often dynamic. Changing conditions on the soil surface cause changing flow directions and velocities. Also the flow patterns may change with time. If selective transitions of components across interfaces, such as fluid-fluid interfaces or soil-root interfaces, are involved, non-linear processes, such as precipitation and dissolution of components, strongly influence the transport processes and the flow and transport properties at the interface. An example is the transport, precipitation and dissolution of salt. This session invites contributions based on experimental, as well as on modeling or theoretical studies.

  • Formation, dynamics, and stability of interfaces at reservoir scale

On reservoir scale, displacement processes between liquids generate patterns of fluid distributions that are often characterized by the movement of sharp transition zones between the fluids. Such transition zones could be seen as large-scale interfaces. The session solicits contributions on formation of interfaces between different liquids at reservoir scale. The focus is on the evolution of the interfaces driven by chemical and physical processes, and the quantification of their displacements. Contributions on the simulation of flow and component transport in large scale heterogeneous formations are highly appreciated.

  • Applicability, thresholds and limits of describing water flow in porous media with the Richards equation

The Richards’ equation introduced in 1931 is the major tool for simulation of variably saturated water flow in soil on small scales. Despite knowledge about limitations of the Richards equation, in particular under very wet and very dry conditions, this conceptual framework is often appropriate to solve practical problems. However, when applying the model it is of crucial importance to be aware of limits of applicability, that are associated with problems arising from scale issues, non-uniqueness of hydraulic properties, hysteresis, dynamic effects, missing local equilibrium, unstable water flow and similar phenomena. This session invites contributions that aim at quantifying ranges for the applicability of this standard modeling concept, based on material and fluid properties, structural information and boundary conditions.

Organizing Committee

The workshop is organzied by the DFG research unit MUSIS.

  • Wolfgang Durner (TU Braunschweig)
  • Rainer Helmig (Universität Stuttgart)
  • Manfred Krafczyk (TU Braunschweig, Germany)
  • Peter Lehmann and Dani Or (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Insa Neuweiler (LU Hannover)
  • Jan Vanderborght (FZ Jülich, Germany)
  • Hans-Jörg Vogel (UFZ Halle)