Solute Dispersion in a Fracture with Porous Walls
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Supervisors: Dr. Hassan Hassanzadeh
Dr. Zhangxing(John) Chen
Dispersion of dissolved solutes in double-porosity systems affects contaminant transport in aquifers and oil recovery from oil reservoirs. In this study, the dispersion coefficient is obtained in a fracture by imposing the continuity of concentration and mass flux along the porous walls. The ratio of the coupled dispersion coefficient to the non-coupled one versus the Peclet number identifies three different regimes: 1) diffusion-dominated, 2) transition, and 3) advection-dominated. The dispersion coefficient is smaller when the effect of fracture-matrix interaction is taken into account. The effective advection term for the developed model is larger than the one obtained using the classical approach. The larger effective advection term leads to earlier breakthrough of a tracer as compared to the classical model with a non-coupled dispersion coefficient. The larger effective advection term leads to greater matrix mass storage as compared to the classical model with a non-coupled dispersion coefficient.