Visiting Imperial College

Since the middle of April, I have had the great pleasure of visiting the Rock Mechanics group at Imperial College. Here, I have studied the simulation of fracture propagation under the excellent supervision of Dr. Adriana Paluszny. One main objective is to transfer the insights gained from using the Imperial College Geomechanics Toolkit (watch example videos here!) to the PorePy toolbox being developed in Bergen.

The work I’m currently doing with Adriana is about verifying the thermo-mechanical coupling and fracture growth part of the code by comparison to a classical quenching experiment where the contraction of a pre-heated specimen immersed into cold water causes fracturing. I am really excited to see how well we will be able to reproduce the experimental results. It is also inspiring to recognize the physical processes in everyday occurrences such as the cooling of a brownie (Adriana’s observation) or putting ice in a drink (my observation, see picture in slideshow!); perhaps our research can actually have a somewhat broader application!

For a running enthusiast like myself, Imperial College’s situation just to the south of Hyde Park allows for physical recreation in beautiful surroundings and is much appreciated, especially with all the nice weather we have had. If the office becomes too warm, London’s parks also offer an excellently relaxed atmosphere for reading a paper or writing a blog post!

Ivar Stefansson

Watson forum interview with Eren Ucar

The Watson Forum is a series of (informal) interviews that seek to highlight contributions of women in the areas of numerical modelling, simulation, and programming in the context of Maths, Physics, Earth Sciences and Engineering. The interviews are performed by Dr. Adriana Paluszny of Imperial College, and we encourage you to watch the interview with Eren Ucar here. For a more detailed description of the project, refer to its home page.

Letter from CMWR 2018 in Saint Malo

This week seven members of the PMG went to France to attend the conference Computational Methods in Water Resources XXII (CMWR). Optimistic as I am, I showed up with swimming suit and sunglasses, and the rain coat was left in Bergen. Of course, I never thought of checking the weather report, and my dreams of sun, swimming, and long beaches were harshly crushed already when we landed. As the plane parked we were not allowed out of the airplane for twenty minutes because it rained too much. However, despite striking French railroad workers we managed to arrive in the small city Saint-Malo at the north-west coast of France. The longing for sun was temporarily forgotten as the conference started on Monday and I had to use all my concentration trying to follow the arguments of a talk trying to fit in 50 slides and the scientific work of the last ten years in a 15 minutes talk. Phew, I got through that, and after a long first day, I managed to do a short sightseeing of the city the following night.

Sightseeing in Saint-Malo

Wednesday I held a talk on fracture stimulation in enhanced geothermal systems. I was a bit nervous, but can now enjoy the remaining talks. It is truly inspiring to see so many great presentations! Today is the last day of the conference and then it is back to the normal life in Bergen.

Presentation at CMWR


Meltzer prize to Kundan Kumar

Kundan Kumar has been awarded the Meltzer prize for young researchers. The PMG congratulates warmly!

Finse workshop on efficient solvers for fractured porous media

This January we have hosted a workshop in solvers for materials with high-aspect-ratio inclusions. The event was located in beautiful snowy Finse, known as the highest point of the Oslo-Bergen railway. Several international experts in the field have given interesting talks that sat the ground for focused and fruitful discussions. We are grateful to all the participants and presenters for their contributions to the workshop and hopefully start of exciting new collaborations. Special thanks to Jan Martin Nordbotten, Eirik Keilegavlen and Ana Budiša for organizing and Finse 1222 for hosting, but also to The Norwegian Research Council and University of Bergen for financial support.

Inga Berre to chair EERA-JPGE

In the 2017 steering committee meeting for the European Energy Research Alliance, Joint Programme Geothermal Energy (EERA-JPGE), Inga Berre from the Porous Media Group was elected as the new chair for 2018-2019, replacing Ernst Huenges (GFZ). David Bruhn (GFZ) will be the 2018-2019 scientific secretary.

Visits in November

As becomes a research group in an international field, the PMG sets store by scientific visits both to and from Bergen. This month, we warmly appreciate being able to host the following eminent researchers:

Sorin Pop, Hasselt University in Belgium, from Tuesday 7 Nov to Friday 10 Nov.

Nicolae Suciu, University of Erlangen in Germany, from Sunday 12 Nov to Saturday 18 Nov.

Markus Bause, Federal Army University of Hamburg, Germany, from Monday 21 Nov to Friday 24 Nov.

We are also grateful to Pop and Suciu for agreeing to give compact courses while in Bergen. The topics are homogenization and stochastic simulations of diffusion processes, respectively, and the schedules may be found in the PMG calendar.

Enumath, part II

The Enumath conference is now finished, and we take the liberty of declaring it a great success! An abundance of excellent contributions was offered, hours and hours of stimulating discussions took place and, perhaps most remarkably for western Norway in September, the sun did what it could to make the week as pleasant as possible.

The PMG would like to thank all participants, and in particular the organizing committee with Florin Radu, Jakub Booth, Kundan Kumar and Ingeborg Gjerde. Also, the financial support from Springer, the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Research Council was much appreciated.


This week, the group hosts the 2017 Enumath conference at Voss. The conference lasts the entire week and is attended by some 350 mathematicians. We have enjoyed an abundance of interesting talks so far and look forward to further exciting contributions in the days to come!

Seminar 15 June

This week’s seminar will be held by Mats Brun at 1pm.

Title: Upscaling and discretization of coupled geomechanics, flow and heat in a poro-elastic medium in the quasi-static situation

Motivated by geothermal energy storage in the subsurface, we undertake the formal derivation of Biot’s law for a poro-elastic medium completely saturated by a fluid, coupled with heat conduction laws for both the fluid and solid phase. We assume small displacements of the solid structure (i.e. linear strain), a fully connected void and grain space, that the fluid flow is incompressible, and that the fluid/solid interface coupling conditions may be linearized. We start with the microscale model, and apply the technique of homogenization in order to derive the upscaled model, in the case of periodically distributed pores. Assuming the homogenization ansatz holds true, we obtain a fully coupled system of equations on the macro-scale accounting for the effects of geomechanics, heat conduction, and fluid flow within a porous material.