Kevin Mumford

Numerical Modeling of Dynamic Capillary Pressure Effects in Intermediate-wet and Organic-wet Sands, Laboratory Investigation of Capillary pressure-Saturation Relationships during NAPL Dissolution

Knowledge of capillary pressure behaviour is important for understanding the distribution of non-wetting phases in porous media, such as gases and nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs). This understanding is typically based on equilibrium systems; however, there is a need to extend this understanding to transient systems. Dynamic effects in capillary pressure are gaining increased attention, but the fundamental mechanisms remain unclear. This study analyses the results from several laboratory experiments in intermediate-wet and organic-wet sands using a numerical multiphase flow model to quantify differences in dynamic behaviour, in the hopes of better understanding the fundamental role of liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interactions.

Numerical models used to predict the multiphase flow and subsequent dissolution of nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in groundwater systems rely on constitutive relations between saturation, capillary pressure, and relative permeability (i.e. Pc-S-kr). Although the Pc-S on drainage and imbibition have been extensively studied by changing boundary pressures, little information is available concerning capillary pressures that result from saturation reductions that occur during dissolution (i.e. imbibition by dissolution). This study uses laboratory experiments to investigate this relationship to improve our ability to predict NAPL dissolution at the field scale, and thereby improve risk prediction and remediation technology performance.

Personal Background

Kevin graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B.A.Sc. in Environmental Engineering (Chemical Branch) in 2000, and with an M.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 2002 studying remediation by in situ chemical oxidation. He went on to work as an environmental consultant before obtaining his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 2008 from McMaster University studying the behaviour of discontinuous gas phases in DNAPL source zones. Kevin joined RESTORE in January 2009 to work on several projects including dynamic capillary pressure and capillary pressure-saturation during dissolution.

Travel and Awards

Scholarly Awards

  • NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship 2009
  • Raymond Moore Graduate Scholarship (OGSST) 2007-2008
  • Ann Poucher Windsor Graduate Scholarship (OGSST) 2006-2007
  • NSERC CGS Doctoral 2004-2006
  • McMaster Civil Engineering Entrance Scholarship 2004-2005
  • Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies 2002
  • NSERC PGS A 2001-2002
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship 2000-2001
  • University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering Entrance Scholarship 2000-2001
  • Sandford Fleming Foundation Medal for Academic Achievement 2000

Communication and Teaching Awards

  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, Hydrology section, American
  • Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting 2009
  • Winner, Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) National and Southern
  • Ontario Section Graduate Student Presentation Competitions 2008
  • Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar Day Best Presentation Award 2005, 2007
  • Graduate Students Association Teaching Assistant’s Excellence Award 2004
  • Sandford Fleming Foundation Teaching Assistantship Award 2001

Recent Travel

  • December 2008: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA
  • September 2008: Canadian Geotechnical Conference and Joint CGS/IAH-CNC Groundwater Conference, Edmonton, CAN
  • July 2008: Gordon Research Conference for Flow and Transport in Permeable Media, Oxford, UK
  • December 2007: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA
  • December 2005: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA