Geoelectrical evidence of bicontinuum transport in groundwater

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



Bicontinuum models and rate-limited mass transfer (RLMT) explain complex transport behavior (e.g., long tailing and rebound) in heterogeneous geologic media, but experimental verification is problematic because geochemical samples represent the mobile component of the pore space. Here, we present geophysical evidence of RLMT at the field scale during an aquifer-storage and recovery experiment in a fractured limestone aquifer in Charleston, South Carolina. We observe a hysteretic relation between measurements of porefluid conductivity and bulk electrical conductivity; this hysteresis contradicts advective-dispersive transport and the standard petrophysical model relating pore-fluid and bulk conductivity, but can be explained by considering bicontinuum transport models that include first-order RLMT. Using a simple numerical model, we demonstrate that geoelectrical measurements are sensitive to bicontinuum transport and RLMT parameters, which are otherwise difficult to infer from direct, hydrologic measurements.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geoelectrical evidence of bicontinuum transport in groundwater
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1029/2007GL030019
Volume 34
Issue 12
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Office of Ground Water, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description L12401, 5 p.
Country United States
State South Carolina
City Charleston
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details