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Observations of the impact of rock heterogeneity on solute spreading and mixing

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Title: Observations of the impact of rock heterogeneity on solute spreading and mixing
Authors: Boon, M
Bijeljic, B
Krevor, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Rock heterogeneity plays an important role in solute spreading and mixing in hydrogeologic systems. Few observations, however, have been made that can spatially resolve these processes in 3-D, in consolidated rocks. We make observations of the spatially resolved steady state concentration of a sodium iodide solute while flowing brine through cylindrical rock cores using X-ray CT imaging. Three rocks with an increasing level of heterogeneity are chosen: a Berea sandstone, a Ketton carbonate, and an Indiana carbonate. The impact of heterogeneity on solute transport is analyzed by: (1) quantifying spreading and mixing using metrics such as the transverse dispersion coefficient, the dilution index, the reactor ratio, and the scalar dissipation rate and (2) visualizing and analyzing flow structures such as meandering, flow-focusing, and flow-splitting using isoconcentration contour maps. The transverse dispersion coefficient, Dt, and the variation in Dt throughout the rock core, increases with Peclét number (Pe) and rock heterogeneity. The reactor ratio indicates that mixing is Fickian for the Berea sandstone and Ketton carbonate, but diverges for the Indiana carbonate. The temporal evolution of the scalar dissipation rate, a measure of the mixing rate, remains close to that of Fickian mixing for the Berea and Ketton rocks but not for the Indiana. Heterogeneous rock features are observed to cause meandering, focusing, or splitting of the plume depending on Pe.
Issue Date: 8-Jun-2017
Date of Acceptance: 14-May-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/49510
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019912
ISSN: 0043-1397
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Start Page: 4624
End Page: 4642
Journal / Book Title: Water Resources Research
Volume: 53
Issue: 6
Copyright Statement: © 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsor/Funder: Qatar Shell Research and Technology Center QSTP LLC
Funder's Grant Number: 490000724
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Limnology
Water Resources
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
TRANSVERSE DISPERSION COEFFICIENTS
MULTICOMPONENT REACTIVE TRANSPORT
POROUS-MEDIA
LATERAL DISPERSION
SCALAR DISSIPATION
PACKED-BEDS
DILUTION
FLOW
VISUALIZATION
PERMEABILITY
0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
1402 Applied Economics
Environmental Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Earth Science and Engineering



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