This work considers the applicability of conservative tracers for detecting high-saturation nonaqueous-phase liquid (NAPL) entrapment in heterogeneous systems. For this purpose, a series of experiments and simulations was performed using a two-dimensional heterogeneous system (10??1.2 m), which represents an intermediate scale between laboratory and field scales. Tracer tests performed prior to injecting the NAPL provide the baseline response of the heterogeneous porous medium. Two NAPL spill experiments were performed and the entrapped-NAPL saturation distribution measured in detail using a gamma-ray attenuation system. Tracer tests following each of the NAPL spills produced breakthrough curves (BTCs) reflecting the impact of entrapped NAPL on conservative transport. To evaluate significance, the impact of NAPL entrapment on the conservative-tracer breakthrough curves was compared to simulated breakthrough curve variability for different realizations of the heterogeneous distribution. Analysis of the results reveals that the NAPL entrapment has a significant impact on the temporal moments of conservative-tracer breakthrough curves. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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The effect of entrapped nonaqueous phase liquids on tracer transport in heterogeneous porous media: Laboratory experiments at the intermediate scale