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Colloid-facilitated tracer transport by steady random ground-water flow
KTH, Superseded Departments, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2000 (English)In: Physics of fluids, ISSN 1070-6631, E-ISSN 1089-7666, Vol. 12, no 9, 2279-2294 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We study the transport of reactive solute in a three-phase system (water-solid matrix-colloids) in natural porous media. Semianalytical (integral) solutions are derived for the first time, which can be used for computing expected concentration, mass flux, or discharge for the dissolved as well as for colloid-bounded tracer. The results are based on a few simplifying assumptions: advection-dominated transport, linear mass transfer reactions, and steady-state colloidal concentration. Derived semianalytical expressions capture the main features of colloid-facilitated transport (the reversible-equilibrium and irreversible-kinetic sorption of tracers on colloids), and are applicable for the general class of linear sorption processes on the porous matrix. Derived solutions account for spatial variability of flow and sorption parameters, which is relevant for field-scale applications. We apply the theoretical results to the transport of neptunium and plutonium, using flow and transport data from the alluvial aquifer near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Based on the zeroth and first temporal moment, dimensionless indicators are proposed for assessing the potential impact of colloid-facilitated tracer transport in aquifers. Generic sensitivity curves show the importance of tracer-colloid kinetic rates. Even very low irreversible rates (which will generally be difficult to determine in the laboratory) may yield observable effects for sufficiently long transport times. The obtained results can be used for assessing the significance of colloid-facilitated tracer transport under field conditions, as well as for setting further constraints on relevant parameters which need to be estimated in the field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 12, no 9, 2279-2294 p.
Keyword [en]
heterogeneous porous-media, contaminant transport, solute transport, reactive transport, geological media, immiscible flow, shallow aquifer, dispersion, plutonium, mobilization
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19969ISI: 000088788900012OAI: diva2:338662
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Cvetkovic, Vladimir
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