A series of experimental tracer tests were performed to explore the implications of the change in the pressure status of a heterogeneous bimodal aquifer for scale-dependent dispersion and mass-transfer processes. The sandbox was filled with sands and gravel channels and patches to form an alluvial-like bimodal aquifer. We performed multiple injections of a conservative tracer from 26 different locations of the sandbox and interpreted the resulting depth-integrated breakthrough curves (BTCs) at the central pumping well to obtain a scale-dependent distribution of local and field-integrated apparent longitudinal dispersivity (respectively, αLlocand αLapp). We repeated the experiments under confined (CS) and unconfined (UNS) pressure status, keeping the same heterogeneous configuration. Results showed that αLloc(associated with transport through gravel zones) was poorly influenced by the change in aquifer pressure and the presence of channels. Instead, αLapp(i.e. macrodispersion) strongly increased when changing from CS to UNS. In specific, we found αLapp≈0.03r for the CS and αLapp≈0.15r for the UNS (being r the distance from the well). Second-to-fourth-order temporal moments showed strong spatial dependence in the UNS and no spatial dependence in the CS. These results seem consistent with a “vadose-zone-driven” kinetic mass-transfer process occurring in the UNS but not in the CS. The vadose zone enhances vertical flow due to the presence of free surface and large contrasts in hydraulic conductivity triggered by the desaturation of gravel channels nearby the pumping well. The vadose zone enhances vertical mixing between gravel and sands and generates BTC tailing. In the CS vertical mixing is negligible and anomalous transport is not observed.
Implications of the change in confinement status of a heterogeneous aquifer for scale-dependent dispersion and mass-transfer processes / D. Pedretti, A. Molinari, C. Fallico, S. Guzzi. - In: JOURNAL OF CONTAMINANT HYDROLOGY. - ISSN 0169-7722. - 193(2016), pp. 86-95.
|Titolo:||Implications of the change in confinement status of a heterogeneous aquifer for scale-dependent dispersion and mass-transfer processes|
PEDRETTI, DANIELE (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||Anomalous transport; Confined unconfined conditions; Mass transfer; Methods of moments; Mixing; Tracer tests; Environmental Monitoring; Groundwater; Kinetics; Soil; Solutions; Water Pollutants, Chemical; Water Pollution, Chemical; Models, Theoretical; Water Movements; Environmental Chemistry; Water Science and Technology|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/05 - Geologia Applicata|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2016.09.005|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|