Channel Network Models for Solute Migration and Dispersal

by Peter Grindrod, Intera, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom,
Michael D. Impey, Intera, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


We introduce a class of channel-network models for solute migration and dispersal in saturated rock. In discussing the behaviour of any dispersive process it is necessary to compare and contrast it with standard models. For this reason we calibrate three models together at one breakthrough length, and demonstrate how the models produce alternative up-scaled behaviour. The application of a range of approaches to upscaling breakthrough behaviour is often limited by the availability of alternative concepts. Hence the need for models which can be applied to laboratory and field data. Simplified versions of the channel network models are derived, which possess known, closed form, solutions. At (relatively) short scales, channel network models are similar to channelling models, whereas over asymptotically large length scales they give rise to a generalized (Taylor) dispersive process. By considering time dependent breakthrough curves at various distances from a source we shall illustrate how such scale dependence is representative of that often observed in field tests.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Hydraulic models | Scale models | Mathematical models | Rock mechanics | Comparative studies | Rocks | Calibration

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