Head and velocity covariances under quasi-steady state flow and their effects on advective transport

Dongxiao Zhang, Shlomo P. Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most stochastic models of solute transport assume flow to be at steady state. However, even locally uniform gradients tend to show seasonal fluctuations in magnitude and direction. Such transients affect the prediction of flow and plume migration and spread. The question is how and to what extent. We address this question by developing low-order approximations for autocovariances and cross covariances of velocity, head, and log hydraulic conductivity under quasi-steady state flow, then using a first-order Lagrangian approach to examine their effect on advective transport. Our results show that whereas periodic temporal fluctuations in the magnitude of the mean velocity may either enhance or reduce dispersion, similar fluctuations in its direction always cause longitudinal dispersion to decrease and transverse dispersion to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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