Upscaling heterogeneity in aquifer reactivity via exposure-time concept: forward model

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Uma Seeboonruang, Timothy R Ginn


Reactive properties of aquifer solid phase materials play an important role in solute fate and transport in the natural subsurface on time scales ranging from years in contaminant remediation to millennia in dynamics of aqueous geochemistry. Quantitative tools for dealing with the impact of natural heterogeneity in solid phase reactivity on solute fate and transport are limited. Here we describe the use of a structural variable to keep track of solute flux exposure to reactive surfaces. With this approach, we develop a non-reactive tracer model that is useful for determining the signature of multi-scale reactive solid heterogeneity in terms of solute flux distributions at the field scale, given realizations of three-dimensional reactive site density fields. First, a governing Eulerian equation for the non-reactive tracer model is determined by an upscaling technique in which it is found that the exposure time of solution to reactive surface areas evolves via both a macroscopic velocity and a macroscopic dispersion in the artificial dimension of exposure time. Second, we focus on the Lagrangian approach in the context of a streamtube ensemble and demonstrate the use of the distribution of solute flux over the exposure time dimen...Continue Reading


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