Oscillatory or periodic flow is encountered in subsurface reservoirs in a number of applications. Aquifer recharge is often periodic as the rainfall has a seasonal cycle. Tidal variations are also observed in aquifer pressure and these have diurnal periods. Compressed air energy storage in reservoirs is expected to result in oscillatory flow as the air is injected during the day and extracted at night when renewable energy is not available.
An important application related to our studies on periodic flow are oscillatory pumping tests. This alternative type of pumping test involves consecutive periods of pumping and injection resulting in alternating flow and periodic head variations.
Our goal is to understand the fundamental nature of oscillatory flow and study the effective properties related to these flows. We are also interested in developing methods for reservoir characterization using oscillatory pumping tests.