Towards a transport approach that acknowledges mixing and dispersion.
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 10:20 AM
It is generally accepted that the Advection-Dispersion Equation (ADE) is a poor representation of transport for problems beyond assessing the extent of a solute plume. Specifically, mixing must be honored for proper assessment of chemical reactions. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a transport approach that acknowledges dispersion (for adequate representation of solute spreading) and mixing (for adequate representation of chemical reactions). Non-local in time solute transport formulations have been considered a hopeful alternative to the ADE because they overcome many of its limitations. We have computed the deviation from gaussian mixing obtained in transport through highly heterogeneous media and compared it with that of non-local in time formulations. We find that these underestimate such deviation. Therefore, they are not sufficient; more sophisticated approaches are needed. An appealing option is to extend non-locality also to space, but this opens a broad range of possibilities. We explore some non-local in space and time formulations, so as to define the constraints that these must meet in order to be valid representations (valid in the sense of reproducing the actual spreading and mixing rates) of solute transport through heterogeneous media.