Heat and Vapor Transport Beneath an Impermeable Cap

by D. F. McTigue, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
M. J. Martinez, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
C. L. Stein, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


Vadose-zone moisture transport near an impermeable barrier has been under study at a field site near Albuquerque, NM since 1990. Moisture content and temperature have been monitored in the subsurface on a regular basis; both undergo a seasonal variation about average values. Even though the slab introduces two-dimensional effects on the scale of the slab, moisture and heat transport is predominantly vertical. Numerical simulations, based on the models developed by Philip and de Vries (1957) and de Vries (1958), indicate that the heat flow is conduction-dominated while the moisture movement is dominated by diffusive vapor distillation. Model predictions of the magnitude and extent of changes in moisture content underneath the slab are in reasonable agreement with observation.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Moisture | Slabs | Computer models | Simulation models | Mathematical models | Heat transfer | New Mexico | United States

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