A new approach has been developed for solving solute transport problems in randomly heterogeneous media using the Karhunen-Loe??ve-based moment equation (KLME) technique proposed by Zhang and Lu (2004). The KLME approach combines the Karhunen-Loe??ve decomposition of the underlying random conductivity field and the perturbative and polynomial expansions of dependent variables including the hydraulic head, flow velocity, dispersion coefficient, and solute concentration. The equations obtained in this approach are sequential, and their structure is formulated in the same form as the original governing equations such that any existing simulator, such as Modular Three-Dimensional Multispecies Transport Model for Simulation of Advection, Dispersion, and Chemical Reactions of Contaminants in Groundwater Systems (MT3DMS), can be directly applied as the solver. Through a series of two-dimensional examples, the validity of the KLME approach is evaluated against the classical Monte Carlo simulations. Results indicate that under the flow and transport conditions examined in this work, the KLME approach provides an accurate representation of the mean concentration. For the concentration variance, the accuracy of the KLME approach is good when the conductivity variance is 0.5. As the conductivity variance increases up to 1.0, the mismatch on the concentration variance becomes large, although the mean concentration can still be accurately reproduced by the KLME approach. Our results also indicate that when the conductivity variance is relatively large, neglecting the effects of the cross terms between velocity fluctuations and local dispersivities, as done in some previous studies, can produce noticeable errors, and a rigorous treatment of the dispersion terms becomes more appropriate. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Stochastic uncertainty analysis for solute transport in randomly heterogeneous media using a Karhunen-Loe??ve-based moment equation approach