Modeling Solute Reactivity in a Phreatic Solution Conduit Penetrating a Karst Aquifer

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Malcolm Field, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, United States
A two-dimensional model for solute migration, transformation, and sorption in a phreatic solution conduit penetrating a karst aquifer is presented in which the solute is anthropogenic to the natural system. Transformation of a reacting solute in a solution conduit has generally been accepted as likely occurring but actual physical measurements and mathematical analyses of the suspected process are lacking, primarily because of the logistics of sample collection and the complexities associated with solute transport through solution conduits. The model demonstrates how a reacting solute might be converted to a product solute some of which then diffuses to the solution conduit wall where it may become adsorbed. Model effects vary for laminar flow and turbulent flow in the axial direction. Laminar and turbulent diffusion in the radial direction also exhibits marked differences. In addition to single reaction zones simulations considered multiple adjacent and nonadjacent reaction zones, both with varying reaction rates. Reaction zones were found to enhance subsequent reactions due to some overlap resulting from the hydrodynamic dispersion caused by the axial flow. The simulations showed that varying the reaction rate coefficient strongly affects solute reactions, but that varying deposition coefficients had only minimal impacts. Application of the model to a tracer test that used the tracer dye, Rhodamine WT which readily converts to deaminoalkylated Rhodamine WT after release, illustrates how the model may be used to suggest a possible cause for less than 100% tracer mass recovery. In terms of pollutants in a karst aquifer the model suggests a possible explanation for pollutant transformation in a solution conduit.