Anomalous solute transport in saturated porous media: Relating transport model parameters to electrical and nuclear magnetic resonance properties

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

The advection-dispersion equation (ADE) fails to describe commonly observed non-Fickian solute transport in saturated porous media, necessitating the use of other models such as the dual-domain mass-transfer (DDMT) model. DDMT model parameters are commonly calibrated via curve fitting, providing little insight into the relation between effective parameters and physical properties of the medium. There is a clear need for material characterization techniques that can provide insight into the geometry and connectedness of pore spaces related to transport model parameters. Here, we consider proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), direct-current (DC) resistivity, and complex conductivity (CC) measurements for this purpose, and assess these methods using glass beads as a control and two different samples of the zeolite clinoptilolite, a material that demonstrates non-Fickian transport due to intragranular porosity. We estimate DDMT parameters via calibration of a transport model to column-scale solute tracer tests, and compare NMR, DC resistivity, CC results, which reveal that grain size alone does not control transport properties and measured geophysical parameters; rather, volume and arrangement of the pore space play important roles. NMR cannot provide estimates of more-mobile and less-mobile pore volumes in the absence of tracer tests because these estimates depend critically on the selection of a material-dependent and flow-dependent cutoff time. Increased electrical connectedness from DC resistivity measurements are associated with greater mobile pore space determined from transport model calibration. CC was hypothesized to be related to length scales of mass transfer, but the CC response is unrelated to DDMT.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Anomalous solute transport in saturated porous media: Relating transport model parameters to electrical and nuclear magnetic resonance properties
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1002/2014WR015284
Volume 51
Issue 2
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher AGU
Contributing office(s) OGW Branch of Geophysics, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 20 p.
First page 1264
Last page 1283