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Computational issues in the determination of solute discharge moments and implications for comparison to analytical solutions
KTH, Superseded Departments, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2001 (English)In: Advances in Water Resources, ISSN 0309-1708, E-ISSN 1872-9657, Vol. 24, no 6, 607-619 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Solute discharge moments (mean and variance) are computed using numerical modeling of flow and advective transport in two-dimensional heterogeneous aquifers and are compared to theoretical results, The solute discharge quantifies the temporal evolution of the total contaminant mass crossing a certain compliance boundary. In addition to analyzing the solute discharge moments within a classical absolute dispersion framework, we also analyze relative dispersion formulation, whereby plume meandering (deviation from mean flow path caused by velocity variations at scales larger than plume size) is removed. This study addresses some important issues related to the computation of solute discharge moments from random walk particle tracking experiments, and highlights some of the important differences between absolute and relative dispersion frameworks. Relative dispersion formulation produces maximum uncertainty that coincides with the peak mean discharge. Absolute dispersion, however, results in earlier arrival of the uncertainty peak as compared to the first moment peak. Simulations show that the standard deviation of solute discharge in a relative dispersion framework requires increasingly large temporal sampling windows to smooth out some of the large fluctuations in breakthrough curves associated with advective transport. Using smoothing techniques in particle tracking to distribute the particle mass over a volume rather than at a point significantly reduces the noise in the numerical simulations and removes the need to use large temporal windows. Same effect can be obtained by adding a local dispersion process to the particle tracking experiments used to model advective transport. The effect of the temporal sampling window bears some relevance and important consequences for evaluating risk-related parameters. The expected value of peak solute discharge and its standard deviation are very sensitive to this sampling window and so will be the risk distribution relying on such numerical models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 24, no 6, 607-619 p.
Keyword [en]
solute discharge, particle tracking, temporal sampling, advective transport, numerical simulation, groundwater-flow models, heterogeneous formations, risk analysis, flux approach, porous-media, transport, aquifers, dispersion, methodology, simulation
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-20702ISI: 000169192100003OAI: diva2:339398
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Cvetkovic, Vladimir
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