Method-of-characteristics groundwater transport models require that changes in concentrations computed within an Eulerian framework to account for dispersion be transferred to moving particles used to simulate advective transport. A new algorithm was developed to accomplish this transfer between nodal values and advecting particles more precisely and realistically compared to currently used methods. The new method scales the changes and adjustments of particle concentrations relative to limiting bounds of concentration values determined from the population of adjacent nodal values. The method precludes unrealistic undershoot or overshoot for concentrations of individual particles. In the new method, if dispersion causes cell concentrations to decrease during a time step, those particles in the cell having the highest concentration will decrease the most, and those with the lowest concentration will decrease the least. The converse is true if dispersion is causing concentrations to increase. Furthermore, if the initial concentration on a particle is outside the range of the adjacent nodal values, it will automatically be adjusted in the direction of the acceptable range of values. The new method is inherently mass conservative.
Additional publication details
Applying dispersive changes to Lagrangian particles in groundwater transport models