Dilution of non-reactive tracers in variably saturated sandy structures

Ursino, Nadia; Gimmi, Thomas; Flühler, Hannes (2001). Dilution of non-reactive tracers in variably saturated sandy structures. Advances in water ressources, 24(8), pp. 877-885. Elsevier 10.1016/S0309-1708(01)00014-8

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Based on a dye tracer experiment in a sand tank we addressed the problem of local dispersion of conservative tracers in the unsaturated zone. The sand bedding was designed to have a defined spatial heterogeneity with a strong anisotropy. We estimated the parameters that characterize the local dispersion and dilution from concentration maps of a high spatial and temporal resolution obtained by image analysis. The plume spreading and mixing behavior was quantified on the basis of the coefficient of variation of the concentration and of the dilution index. The heterogeneous structure modified the flow pattern depending on water saturation. The shape of the tracer plumes revealed the structural signature of the sand bedding at low saturation only. In this case pronounced preferential flow was observed. At higher flow rates the structure remained hidden by a spatially almost homogeneous behavior of the plumes. In this context, we mainly discuss the mechanism of re-distributing a finite mass of inert solutes over a large volume, due to macro- and micro-heterogeneities of the structure. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. AU rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Gimmi, Thomas

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0309-1708

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Gimmi

Date Deposited:

18 Sep 2014 16:55

Last Modified:

20 Mar 2018 10:56

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/S0309-1708(01)00014-8

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.47688

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/47688

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