Dr Anna Herring

Visiting Fellow
Research School of Physics

Anna is originally from a small coal-mining community in Colorado, and has been an avid outdoors sports enthusiast- whitewater kayaking, snowboarding, mountain biking- since childhood. She studied environmental engineering (B.S. from University of Colorado, Boulder; and M.S. and Ph.D. from Oregon State University) because she is personally invested in resolving the conflicts between environmental protection and energy production necessary for modern life. She was an ARC DECRA postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University, where her research enabled efficient design and optimization of technologies used to fight climate change: storing carbon dioxide in permeable underground geologic formations, and in cements used in construction.

Anna’s research is largely experimental, and is based on highly-resolved visualization of fluid (gas and liquid) flows within permeable media. She applies state-of-the-art visualization techniques to observe complicated 3D solid architecture and flow patterns, on a micro-scale basis, in otherwise opaque samples; and she uses image processing and mathematical topology to quantify fluid-solid structures and interactions. She recently produced the first experimental evidence that micro-scale fluid topology dictates reservoir-scale flow and transport parameters used by engineers. She also investigates how transport of fluids through samples can cause chemical reactions, altering solid surface chemistry and transforming solid structures over time; and she looks at how these reactive transport mechanisms can be manipulated to optimize flow processes in different natural and designed scenarios.

Her research spans temporal and spatial scales, chemistry and physics, and fundamental science and applied engineering topics.

Research interests

  • Multiphase fluid flow and trapping in porous media
  • Impact of fuid property variation on flow behavior
  • Forces controlling pore-scale fluid-fluid interactions and impact on engineering applications
  • Novel descriptors of fluid and media morphology and topology
  • Surface and interfacial interactions during fluid flows
  • X-ray microtomographic imaging and data visualization


Herring, A. L., J. Middleton, R. Walsh, A. Kingston, and A. Sheppard, Flow Rate Impacts on Capillary Pressure and Interface Curvature of Connected and Disconnected Fluid Phases during Multiphase Flow in Sandstone, Adv. Water Resour. (2017) doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2017.05.011.

Liu, Z., A. Herring, C. Arns, S. Berg, and R. T. Armstrong, Pore-Scale Characterization of Two-Phase Flow Using Integral Geometry, Transp. Porous Media (2017) 1–19, doi:10.1007/s11242-017-0849-5.

Herring, A. L., L. Andersson, and D. Wildenschild, Enhancing residual trapping of supercritical CO2 via cyclic injections, Geophys. Res. Lett. (2016) doi:10.1002/2016GL070304.

Herring, A.L., Sheppard, A., Andersson, L., Wildenschild, D. "Impact of wettability alteration on 3D nonwetting phase trapping and transport", Int. J. Greenh. Gas Control. 46 (2016) 175–186. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.12.026.

E.H. Kimbrel, Herring, A.L., Armstrong, R.T., Lunati, I., Bay, B.K., Wildenschild, D. "Experimental characterization of nonwetting phase trapping and implications for geologic CO2 sequestration", Int. J. Greenh. Gas Control. 42 (2015) 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.07.011.

Herring, A. L., Andersson, L., Schlüter, S., Sheppard, A., & Wildenschild, D. “Efficiently engineering pore-scale processes: force balance and topology during nonwetting phase trapping in porous media." Advances in Water Resources (2015)

Herring, A.L. An Investigation into the Pore-Scale Mechanisms of Capillary Trapping: Application to Geologic CO2 Sequestration. Doctoral Dissertation. Oregon State University, 2014.

Herring, A. L., Andersson, L., Newell, D., Carey, J.W., & Wildenschild, D. “Pore-scale observations of supercritical CO2 drainage in Bentheimer sandstone by Synchrotron x-ray imaging.” International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (2014)

Herring, A. L., Harper, E. J., Andersson, L., Sheppard, A., Bay, B. K., & Wildenschild, D. “Effect of fluid topology on residual nonwetting phase trapping: implications for geologic CO2 sequestration.” Advances in Water Resources (2013)

Herring, A.L. Saturation, morphology, and topology of nonwetting phase fluid in Bentheimer sandstone; application to geologic sequestration of supercritical CO2. MS thesis. Oregon State University, 2012.

Myers, G., Varslot, T., Kingston, A., Herring, A., & Sheppard, A. “Ground-truth verification of dynamic x-ray micro-tomography images of fluid displacement.” SPIE Optical Engineering Applications. (2012): 85060P-85060P.

Wildenschild, D., Armstrong, R. T., Herring, A. L., Young, I. M., & William Carey, J. "Exploring capillary trapping efficiency as a function of interfacial tension, viscosity, and flow rate." Energy Procedia. 4. (2011): 4945-4952