A Simple Innovative Method of Interpreting the Breakthrough Curves in Instantaneous Source Column Tests
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Instantaneous injection tracer tests can be used effectively to determine solute transport parameters in porous media such as pore velocities and dispersivities, which are usually estimated with curve-fitting methods. This study proposes a simple method to estimate conservative and reactive solute transport parameters in one-, two- and three- dimensional domains with uniform flow fields based on combination of certain selected observation times. This method requires fewer measured data than traditional curve-fitting methods. The accuracy of the method in one-dimensional domain depends on the selection of three time points, which is a key factor for the proposed method of this study. Based on the uncertainty analysis the proposed method appears to be a robust and creditable assessment tool applicable for estimating parameters with acceptable estimation errors. The proposed method is applied on laboratory sand column tests. The error of dispersivity between the proposed method and the curve-fitting method would be less if the velocity in the column is lower. For velocity of 0.10cm/min, the error of dispersivity is 18%, while with a lower velocity of 0.05cm/min, the error of dispersivity would be 10% less (8%). The results indicate that the estimated pore velocities and dispersivities are almost the same to their counterparts of the curves-fitting method. This method can be employed easily by scientists and practitioners for parameter estimations in laboratory column experiments if advection-dispersion equation is applicable. Limitations of the study have also been addressed.
primary parameter estimation
breakthrough curve interpretation
laboratory column test
Zhang, Kaiyi (2019). A Simple Innovative Method of Interpreting the Breakthrough Curves in Instantaneous Source Column Tests. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from