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Title: Final Technical Report - Investigation into the Relationship between Heterogeneity and Heavy-Tailed Solute Transport

The objective of this project was to characterize the influence that naturally complex geologic media has on anomalous dispersion and to determine if the nature of dispersion can be estimated from the underlying heterogeneous media. The UNM portion of this project was to provide detailed representations of aquifer heterogeneity through producing highly-resolved models of outcrop analogs to aquifer materials. This project combined outcrop-scale heterogeneity characterization (conducted at the University of New Mexico), laboratory experiments (conducted at Sandia National Laboratory), and numerical simulations (conducted at Sandia National Laboratory and Colorado School of Mines). The study was designed to test whether established dispersion theory accurately predicts the behavior of solute transport through heterogeneous media and to investigate the relationship between heterogeneity and the parameters that populate these models. The dispersion theory tested by this work was based upon the fractional advection-dispersion equation (fADE) model. Unlike most dispersion studies that develop a solute transport model by fitting the solute transport breakthrough curve, this project explored the nature of the heterogeneous media to better understand the connection between the model parameters and the aquifer heterogeneity. We also evaluated methods for simulating the heterogeneity to see whether these approaches (e.g., geostatistical) could reasonably replicate realisticmore » heterogeneity. The UNM portion of this study focused on capturing realistic geologic heterogeneity of aquifer analogs using advanced outcrop mapping methods.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of New Mexico
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE SC Office of Basic Energy Sciences (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Aquifer heterogeneity, non-Fickian transport