Concentration statistics for mixing-controlled reactive transport in random heterogeneous media

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Olaf A CirpkaMarco Dentz


Uncertainty in the distribution of hydraulic parameters leads to uncertainty in flow and reactive transport. Traditional stochastic analysis of solute transport in heterogeneous media has focused on the ensemble mean of conservative-tracer concentration. Studies in the past years have shown that the mean concentration often is associated with a high variance. Because the range of possible concentration values is bounded, a high variance implies high probability weights on the extreme values. In certain cases of mixing-controlled reactive transport, concentrations of conservative tracers, denoted mixing ratios, can be mapped to those of constituents that react with each other upon mixing. This facilitates mapping entire statistical distributions from mixing ratios to reactive-constituent concentrations. In perturbative approximations, only the mean and variance of the mixing-ratio distribution are used. We demonstrate that the second-order perturbative approximation leads to erroneous or even physically impossible estimates of mean reactive-constituent concentrations when the variance of the mixing ratio is high and the relationship between the mixing ratio and the reactive-constituent concentrations strongly deviates from a qua...Continue Reading


Oct 29, 2002·Journal of Contaminant Hydrology·Olaf A Cirpka
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