The Streamline Method for Unstructured Grids

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Streamline methods have experienced very significant developments in terms of flow modeling in recent years. Compressibility and compositional effects were successfully introduced and new streamline simulators can handle several thousand to multi-million grid block systems, depending on the problem flow complexity. However, these simulators are currently unable to handle complex geometries or account for full tensor permeabilities. This report describes a novel method for extending the streamline method to curvilinear structured and unstructured grids with full tensors.Essential components of the method include the use of a flux continuous finite volume scheme for unstructured grids coupled with a novel flux recovery technique and a generalization of Pollock streamline tracing on appropriate volumes. This work includes a method for both the standardCVFE scheme where permeability is piecewise constant over each cell and the point distributedCVFE scheme where permeability is piecewise constant over each control volume. The case of incompressible flow in two dimensions is considered in detail and a possible extension to three dimensions is proposed. The results presented demonstrate the effect of the different tracing algorithms. A comparison with the conventional Cartesian streamline method is used to verify the new methods.


Type of resource text
Date created June 2000


Author Prevost, Mathieu
Primary advisor Edwards, Michael G.
Primary advisor Durlofsky, Louis J.
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Petroleum Engineering


Subject School of Earth Energy & Environmental Sciences
Genre Thesis

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Prevost, Mathieu. (2000). The Streamline Method for Unstructured Grids. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Master's Theses, Doerr School of Sustainability

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