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Is unique scaling of aquifer macrodispersivity supported by field data?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
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2015 (English)In: Water resources research, ISSN 0043-1397, E-ISSN 1944-7973, Vol. 51, no 9, 7662-7679 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Spreading of conservative solutes in groundwater due to aquifer heterogeneity is quantified by the macrodispersivity, which was found to be scale dependent. It increases with travel distance, stabilizing eventually at a constant value. However, the question of its asymptotic behavior at very large scale is still a matter of debate. It was surmised in the literature that macrodispersivity scales up following a unique scaling law. Attempts to define such a law were made by fitting a regression line in the log-log representation of an ensemble of macrodispersivities from multiple experiments. The functional relationships differ among the authors, based on the choice of data. Our study revisits the data basis, used for inferring unique scaling, through a detailed analysis of literature marcodispersivities. In addition, values were collected from the most recent tracer tests reported in the literature. We specified a system of criteria for reliability and reevaluated the reliability of the reported values. The final collection of reliable estimates of macrodispersivity does not support a unique scaling law relationship. On the contrary, our results indicate, that the field data can be explained as a collection of macrodispersivities of aquifers with varying degree of heterogeneity where each exhibits its own constant asymptotic value. Our investigation concludes that transport, and particularly the macrodispersivity, is formation-specific, and that modeling of transport cannot be relegated to a unique scaling law. Instead, transport requires characterization of aquifer properties, e.g., spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity, and the use of adequate models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2015. Vol. 51, no 9, 7662-7679 p.
Keyword [en]
Macrodispersion, Solute Transport, Tracer Tests, Groundwater, Scale Effect, Unique Scaling Law
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Transport Systems and Logistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176989DOI: 10.1002/2015WR017220ISI: 000363391300041ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84944441186OAI: diva2:872221

QC 20151118

Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2015-11-18Bibliographically approved

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Cvetkovic, Vladimir
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