Aquifer hydraulic properties such as hydraulic conductivity (K) are ubiquitously heterogeneous and typically only a statistical characterization can be sought. Additionally, statistical anisotropy at typical characterization scales is the rule. Thus, regardless of the processes governing solute transport at the local (pore) scale, transport becomes non-Fickian. Mass-transfer models provide an efficient tool that reproduces observed anomalous transport; in some cases though, these models lack predictability as model parameters cannot readily be connected to the physical properties of aquifers. In this study, we focus on a multirate mass-transfer model (MRMT), and in particular the apparent capacity coefficient (β), which is a strong indicator of the potential of immobile zones to capture moving solute. We aim to find if the choice of an apparent β can be phenomenologically related to measures of statistical anisotropy. We analyzed an ensemble of random simulations of three-dimensional log-transformed multi-Gaussian permeability fields with stationary anisotropic correlation under convergent flow conditions. It was found that apparent β also displays an anisotropic behavior, physically controlled by the aquifer directional connectivity, which in turn is controlled by the anisotropic correlation model. A high hydraulic connectivity results in large β values. These results provide new insights into the practical use of mass-transfer models for predictive purposes. Key Points Convergent radial transport is modeled in random anisotropic formations Apparent capacity coefficient follows the same anisotropic patterns of ln(K) This behavior is linked to transport connectivity and stratification.

Apparent directional mass-transfer capacity coefficients in three-dimensional anisotropic heterogeneous aquifers under radial convergent transport / D. Pedretti, D. Fernàndez-Garcia, X. Sanchez-Vila, D. Bolster, D.A. Benson. - In: WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH. - ISSN 0043-1397. - 50:2(2014), pp. 1205-1224. [10.1002/2013WR014578]

Apparent directional mass-transfer capacity coefficients in three-dimensional anisotropic heterogeneous aquifers under radial convergent transport

D. Pedretti
Primo
;
2014

Abstract

Aquifer hydraulic properties such as hydraulic conductivity (K) are ubiquitously heterogeneous and typically only a statistical characterization can be sought. Additionally, statistical anisotropy at typical characterization scales is the rule. Thus, regardless of the processes governing solute transport at the local (pore) scale, transport becomes non-Fickian. Mass-transfer models provide an efficient tool that reproduces observed anomalous transport; in some cases though, these models lack predictability as model parameters cannot readily be connected to the physical properties of aquifers. In this study, we focus on a multirate mass-transfer model (MRMT), and in particular the apparent capacity coefficient (β), which is a strong indicator of the potential of immobile zones to capture moving solute. We aim to find if the choice of an apparent β can be phenomenologically related to measures of statistical anisotropy. We analyzed an ensemble of random simulations of three-dimensional log-transformed multi-Gaussian permeability fields with stationary anisotropic correlation under convergent flow conditions. It was found that apparent β also displays an anisotropic behavior, physically controlled by the aquifer directional connectivity, which in turn is controlled by the anisotropic correlation model. A high hydraulic connectivity results in large β values. These results provide new insights into the practical use of mass-transfer models for predictive purposes. Key Points Convergent radial transport is modeled in random anisotropic formations Apparent capacity coefficient follows the same anisotropic patterns of ln(K) This behavior is linked to transport connectivity and stratification.
anisotropy; anomalous transport; connectivity; hydraulic conductivity; mass transfer; stratification; Water Science and Technology
Settore GEO/05 - Geologia Applicata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/624338
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