The Relative Dispersion and Mixing of Passive Solutes in Transport in Geologic Media



The spreading of a contaminant in a heterogeneous aquifer depends on the scales of variability effectively explored by the plume. In particular, we observe two major contributions of the fluctuating velocity field in the contaminant movement: (i) the spreading caused by velocity variations of scales lesser than that of the plume size, which we will call ‘relative’ spreading, and (ii) the meander-like movement of the plume as a whole caused by velocity variations of scale larger than that of the plume size. The aim of this work is to consider the effects of the finite size of the contaminant plume on the local concentration moments 〈C〉 and σ C . In particular a ‘relative’ concentration, which depends on the scales of variability effectively explored by the plume, is defined. First, the mathematical formulation of the problem is developed along the Lagrangian framework. In particular, the expressions for the relative mean concentration and its variance are presented. Then, the methodology is applied to the regional transport problem, where the influence of the size of the plume and the pore-scale dispersion are quantitatively assessed.

Key words

aquifer transport groundwater quality solute dilution heterogeneous porous formation. 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ingegneria CivileUniversita’ degli Studi di Roma TreItaly

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