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Modeling solute advection coupled with sorption kinetics in heterogeneous formations

Authors

  • Jan-Olof Selroos,

  • Vladimir Cvetkovic


Abstract

A method for coupling sorption kinetics and solute advection in particle-tracking models is proposed; this method is efficient for the case where sorption rate coefficients can be assumed constant field scale parameters. A simulation example of reactive solute advection in two-dimensional heterogeneous porous media is presented. The effect of sorption kinetics on solute advection is investigated. Nonequilibrium effects are exhibited as enhanced tailing in the solute breakthrough. Because high variability in the hydraulic conductivity also yields enhanced tailing, the nonequilibrium effect is more pronounced for the case of low variability. Moreover, it may be difficult to distinguish cases of low variability with nonequilibrium sorption from cases of high variability with equilibrium sorption. A comparison of Monte Carlo ensemble results is made with an analytical model for the mass arrival of kinetically sorbing solute in heterogeneous porous media obtained using first-order perturbation. The comparison indicates that the analytical model provides reasonable approximations of the expected solute breakthrough if the variance of the natural logarithm of the hydraulic conductivity is smaller than 1.

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