A new pixel-free algorithm of pore-network extraction for fluid flow in porous media: Flashlight search medial axis

Jie Liu, Tao Zhang, Shuyu Sun

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Pore-network models have become a critical tool in the study of fluid flow in geo-energy researches over the last few decades, and the accuracy of pore-network modeling results highly depends on the extraction of pore networks. Traditional methods of pore-network extraction are based on pixels and require images with high quality. Here, a pixel-free method called the flashlight search medial axis algorithm is proposed for pore-network extraction in a continuous space. The search domain in a two-dimensional space is a line, whereas a surface domain is searched in a three-dimensional scenario. Thus, the algorithm follows the dimensionality reduction idea; the medial axis can be identified using only a few points instead of calculating every point in the void space. In this way, computational complexity of this method is greatly reduced compared to that of traditional pixel-based extraction methods, thus enabling large-scale pore-network extraction. Based on cases featuring two- and three-dimensional porous media, the algorithm performs well regardless of the topological structure of the pore network or the positions of the pore and throat centers. This algorithm can also be used to examine both closed-boundary and open-boundary cases. Finally, this algorithm can identify the medial axis accurately, which is of great significance in the study of geo-energy.

Document Type: Original article

Cite as: Liu, J., Zhang, T., Sun, S. A new pixel-free algorithm of pore-network extraction for fluid flow in porous media: Flashlight search medial axis. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2024, 13(1): 32-41. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2024.07.05


Pore-network model, pore-network extraction, pixel-free, continuum extraction approach

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2024.07.05


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