Dispersion Measurements in Highly Heterogeneous Laboratory Scale Porous Media

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Laboratory experiments and numerical simulations investigate conservative contaminant transport in a heterogeneous porous medium. The laboratory experiments were performed in cylindrical columns 1m long and 3.5cm inside diameter filled with spherical glass beads. Concentration breakthrough curves are measured at a scale much finer than the size of the heterogeneity. Numerical simulations are based on a random walk in a known constant velocity field. The heterogeneity is a distinct, discontinuous change in the local permeability field. Fluid flow is miscible, flowing in a saturated porous medium. Previous work has shown this to be a very poorly understood phenomenon. The measurements reported here help to better understand how dispersion evolves through and past a heterogeneity.

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