Conditional stochastic analysis of solute transport in heterogeneous, variably saturated soils

Thomas Harter, Tian-Chyi J Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A method is developed for the conditional (Monte Carlo) simulation of steady state flow and transient transport from point sources in variably saturated porous media. It combines the geostatistical method, a linearized approximation of the soil water tension perturbation solution, and a finite element numerical model. The method is used to investigate the usefulness of conditional simulation for predicting solute transport under a variety of sampling network designs applied to a number of hypothetical soils. Saturated hydraulic conductivity data yield the largest reduction of conditional uncertainty in relatively wet soils with mild heterogeneities. In highly heterogeneous soils or under dry conditions, soil water tension data by themselves, taken at a sampling density of one to two correlation scales along the expected mean travel path, can greatly reduce prediction uncertainty about solute concentration. Parameter uncertainty about statistical properties of the independent random variables becomes less important as the number of conditioning data increases. However, even with a very high number of sampling data, uncertainty of predicted concentration levels remains significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1609
Number of pages13
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1996

Fingerprint

Solute transport
soil transport processes
solute transport
soil matric potential
uncertainty
Soils
soil
parameter uncertainty
Sampling
sampling
soil water
saturated hydraulic conductivity
porous media
travel
network design
solutes
methodology
conditioning
Water
simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Conditional stochastic analysis of solute transport in heterogeneous, variably saturated soils. / Harter, Thomas; Yeh, Tian-Chyi J.

In: Water Resources Research, Vol. 32, No. 6, 06.1996, p. 1597-1609.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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