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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Efficient parallel simulation of CO2 geologic sequestration in saline aquifers


An efficient parallel simulator for large-scale, long-term CO2 geologic sequestration in saline aquifers has been developed. The parallel simulator is a three-dimensional, fully implicit model that solves large, sparse linear systems arising from discretization of the partial differential equations for mass and energy balance in porous and fractured media. The simulator is based on the ECO2N module of the TOUGH2 code and inherits all the process capabilities of the single-CPU TOUGH2 code, including a comprehensive description of the thermodynamics and thermophysical properties of H2O-NaCl- CO2 mixtures, modeling single and/or two-phase isothermal or non-isothermal flow processes, two-phase mixtures, fluid phases appearing or disappearing, as well as salt precipitation or dissolution. The new parallel simulator uses MPI for parallel implementation, the METIS software package for simulation domain partitioning, and the iterative parallel linear solver package Aztec for solving linear equations by multiple processors. In addition, the parallel simulator has been implemented with an efficient communication scheme. Test examples show that a linear or super-linear speedup can be obtained on Linux clusters as well as on supercomputers. Because of the significant improvement in both simulation time and memory requirement, the new simulator provides a powerful tool for tackling larger scale and more complex problems than can be solved by single-CPU codes. A high-resolution simulation example is presented that models buoyant convection, induced by a small increase in brine density caused by dissolution of CO2.

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