A quasi‐linear theory of non‐Fickian and Fickian subsurface dispersion

2. Application to anisotropic media and the Borden site

You‐Kuan ‐K Zhang, Shlomo P Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When the quasi‐linear theory developed in paper 1 is applied to anisotropic media it shows, in contrast to the isotropic case, that longitudinal and transverse dispersivities may become asymptotically proportional to σY when the log hydraulic conductivity variance σY 2 is much smaller than 1. It further implies, among other phenomena, that when the mean seepage velocity vector μ is at an angle to the principal axes of statistical anisotropy, the long axis of a plume is generally offset toward the direction of the largest log hydraulic conductivity correlation scale; when μ is at 45° to the bedding in strongly stratified media, the longitudinal axis is nearly parallel to the bedding under non‐Fickian conditions. As Fickian conditions are approached, the plume rotates toward μ and stabilizes asymptotically at a relatively small angle of deflection depending on σY 2. Application of the quasi‐linear theory to depth‐averaged concentration data from a tracer experiment at Borden, Ontario, yields a consistent and improved fit to a two‐dimensional model without any need for parameter adjustment. Three‐dimensional models are shown to be in fundamental conflict with observed behavior at Borden and in other stratified formations; we show that, in principle, this conflict is easy to resolve by accounting for local hydraulic anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-913
Number of pages11
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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anisotropic medium
hydraulic conductivity
anisotropy
plume
dispersivity
deflection
seepage
tracer
hydraulics
experiment
conflict
parameter
need

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

A quasi‐linear theory of non‐Fickian and Fickian subsurface dispersion : 2. Application to anisotropic media and the Borden site. / Zhang, You‐Kuan ‐K; Neuman, Shlomo P.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 26, No. 5, 1990, p. 903-913.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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