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Title: Upscaling of U(VI) Desorption and Transport from Decimeter-Scale Heterogeneity to Plume-Scale Modeling

Reactive solute transport in aquifers is commonly affected by rate limited mass transfer. This slow mass transfer can exhibit significant control on the times required to restore contaminated aquifers to near-pristine conditions under both ambient and forced-gradient flow systems and is therefore important to understand. Both nonreactive and reactive tracer experiments provide valuable insight into the exchange of solute between mobile and immobile porosity. At the grain scale and column scale, mass transfer limitations were manifested as a concentration rebound when contaminated sediments were contacted with pristine groundwater. This behavior was successfully modeled using the multirate mass transfer model. Mass transfer observed in a 2 m long intermediate laboratory scale experiment showed significant concentration rebound in the first half meter along a flowpath through the tank and negligible rebound near the exit of the tank. Experimental observations and model simulations show that although concentration rebound was small at the end of the tank, the overall elution of uranium from of the tank was still controlled by mass transfer which was manifested by a long tail. At the field scale, mass transfer parameters inferred from geo-electrical measurements of bulk conductivity and traditional conductivity measurements of fluid samples showed significant spatial variability.more » Overall the improved understanding of mass transfer across multiple scales should lead to more robust reactive transport simulations and site management.« less
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  1. USGS
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
US Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Menlo Park, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Contributing Orgs:
Country of Publication:
United States
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES Mass transfer, groundwater, solute transport, reactive transport