Stochastic Nature of Salt Mass Transport in Porous Media Under Unstable Conditions
Received Date: Jun 23, 2017 / Accepted Date: Jun 28, 2017 / Published Date: Jul 04, 2017
The two main transport mechanisms that occur simultaneously under unstable flow conditions are transport of saltwater from an overlying salt source to the porous media, and transport of salt through the porous media. These mechanisms were simultaneously studied through two fixed mass experiments conducted over 15 days. The transport through the porous media was also studied via three continuous injection experiments lasting between 5 to 29 days. There was no hydraulic gradient across the porous media in any of the experiments. Experiments were conducted in a 1 cm thick plexiglass rectangular sand column (1.70 m × 0.61 m × 0.61 m). The saline source concentration was 36 g/l, and the source heights were 4.5 cm. The sand porosity and hydraulic conductivity were 32% and 9.0 m/d, respectively. The rate of mass transport from the source to the porous media was observed by measuring the salt concentration within the source, while the salt transport through the porous media was documented by measuring breakthrough curves at five locations within the sand column. Fixed mass experiment results, using mass analysis, showed that the salt transport from the source to the porous media was deterministic since both experiments produced identical rates of mass transport from the source to the porous media, the salt transport through the porous media was stochastic since the observed breakthrough curves at the five locations were considerably different. The breakthrough curves measured in three identical continuous injection experiments were also very different supporting the results of the fixed mass experiments. The implications of these findings are that, under unstable conditions, one can predict the salt mass that would enter from a salt source into the underlying porous media with certainty, one cannot predict the rate or pattern of salt transport through the porous media itself.
Keywords: Physical model; Salt transport; Porous media; Breakthrough curves; Stochastic; Fingering; Free convection
Citation: Mamoua K, Pandit A, Heck H (2017) Stochastic Nature of Salt Mass Transport in Porous Media Under Unstable Conditions. Hydrol Current Res 8: 278. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7587.1000278
Copyright: © 2017 Mamoua K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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