Transport of reactive solutes in heterogeneous porous formations

W.J.P. Bosma

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


<p>Transport and spreading behaviour of reactive solutes in heterogeneous porous formations is considered. Spatial variability is modeled by assuming a random space function (RSF) for the spatially variable properties. In the available literature, the effect of random spatial variability is mostly limited to considering the hydraulic conductivity as a RSF. In this thesis emphasis is given to the effects of spatial variability of physical as well as chemical properties. Linearly and nonlinearly adsorbing solutes are taken into account. Nonlinear adsorption is modeled by the Freundlich equation. The effect of local nonlinear adsorption on displacement is shown with analytical approximations for different cases. Examples are a homogeneous column with first-order degradation, a column with two layers with different adsorption behaviour and a column consisting of many layers with variable Freundlich adsorption coefficient. The concentration front in the latter onedimensional case can successfully be described by a traveling wave front, which develops in an equivalent homogeneous column. For two-dimensional domains, displacement of linearly and nonlinearly adsorbing solutes is considered, assuming the adsorption coefficient and the hydraulic conductivity to be spatially variable. Results are given in terms of spatial and statistical moments, which describe the position and shape of concentration fronts and solute plumes. In case of linear adsorption, analytical solutions derived for the statistical moments compare well with numerical results. For a nonlinearly adsorbing solute, the boundary conditions play an important role with respect to the spreading behaviour. If the solute is continuously injected into the domain, macroscopic front spreading is determined by spatial variability. Nonlinear adsorption causes a reduction of front spreading compared with linear adsorption. Similarly, heterogeneity governs the variance of the mean plume position in case of an instantaneous or finite injection. On the other hand, the shape of the instantaneously injected plume is determined by nonlinear adsorption. A mathematical analysis for homogeneous domains can be useful for describing the plume development in heterogeneous flow domains.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • de Haan, F.A.M., Promotor, External person
  • van der Zee, Sjoerd, Promotor
Award date11 Nov 1994
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789054853138
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • hydrodynamics
  • liquids
  • fluids
  • flow
  • porous media
  • infiltration
  • hydraulic conductivity
  • seepage
  • groundwater flow
  • water quality
  • pollution control
  • groundwater pollution
  • protection

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