Transport of solutes in complex hydrogeological media

Vinod Vallikat, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


This study presents numerical simulations of conservative solute transport in a complex heterogeneous porous media. A methodology to incorporate all the available information for describing the heterogeneity is developed. A Particle Tracking Random Walk method is used to simulate the solute transport through a heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity field generated based on a bimodal distribution. The effect of bimodal distribution on plume migration is examined and the correlation structures of the concentration field is analyzed; The numerical results indicate that the plume separates into small blocks and travels at different velocities through the preferential flowpaths. This was also noticed in the breakthrough curves in the form of large tails. The correlation structures displayed a trend, suggesting nonstationarity of the concentration field and the spatial continuity was higher in the transverse directions than the longitudinal direction.