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Tracer travel and residence time distributions in highly heterogeneous aquifers: Coupled effect of flow variability and mass transfer
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The driving mechanism of tracer transport in aquifers is groundwater flow which is controlled by the heterogeneity of hydraulic properties. We show how hydrodynamics and mass transfer are coupled in a general analytical manner to derive a physically-based (or process-based) residence time distribution for a given integral scale of the hydraulic conductivity; the result can be applied for a broad class of linear mass transfer processes. The derived tracer residence time distribution is a transfer function with parameters to be inferred from combined field and laboratory measurements. It is scalable relative to the correlation length and applicable for an arbitrary statistical distribution of the hydraulic conductivity. Based on the derived residence time distribution, the coefficient of variation and skewness of residence time are illustrated assuming a log-normal hydraulic conductivity field and first-order mass transfer. We show that for a low Damkohler number the coefficient of variation is more strongly influenced by mass transfer than by heterogeneity, whereas skewness is more strongly influenced by heterogeneity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Groundwater transport, Highly heterogeneous media, Mass transfer, Residence time, Travel time, Aquifers, Groundwater, Groundwater flow, Groundwater resources, Higher order statistics, Hydraulic conductivity, Hydrogeology, Molten materials, Rotating disks, Statistical methods, Coefficient of variation, Heterogeneous aquifers, Heterogeneous media, Laboratory measurements, Low Damkohler number, Statistical distribution, Residence time distribution
National Category
Water Engineering Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-195562DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.04.072OAI: diva2:1047739

QC 20161118

Available from: 2016-11-18 Created: 2016-11-03 Last updated: 2016-11-18Bibliographically approved

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Cvetkovic, Vladimir
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Land and Water Resources Engineering
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