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WATER

RESOURCES
RESEARCH,
VOL.28,NO.12,PAGES
3293-3307,
DECEMBER
1992

FieldStudyof Dispersion
in a Heterogeneous
Aquifer
2. SpatialMomentsAnalysis
E. Emc ADAMSAND LYNN W. GELHAR

Department
ofCivilEngineering,
Massachusetts
Institute
of Technology,
Cambridge

Analysis
isperformedofa 20-month natural
gradienttracerstudy inthesaturated
zoneofa highly
heterogeneousaquifer.
Graphicalpresentation
of concentrationdistributions
versustimeandspatial
moments analysis
reveal
dramatically
non-Gaussianbehavioranda systematic
massloss.Implications
of themasslossonplume momentsisanalyzedthrough sensitivity
studies.
Themoments dataare
interpreted
by applying
twosimple models:(1) pureadvection froma continuous source,and(2)
advection
plusdispersionina converging
nonuniformflowfield.A longitudinal
dispersivity
of5-10m
isestimated
fromthelattermodelandissomewhat largerthanthevalueof about1.5m calculated
by
Rehfeldtet al. (thisissue)usingthe stochastic
theoryof Gelharand Axness(1983)basedon
independentmeasurements ofthespatialvariation
ofhydraulic
conductivity.
Thedispersivity
of5-!0
misanorderofmagnitude larger
thanvaluesmeasured atrecently
studied
fieldsites(Borden
andCape
Cod)withlessheterogeneity, butan orderof magnitude lowerthanwouldbe computed fromthe
momentsdata if the flow is presumedto be uniform.

INTRODUCTION Buttahatchee River, located 2.4 km north of the site, and


consiststypically of poorly sorted to well-sorted sandy
The purposehereis to describethe analysisandinterpre- gravel and gravelly sand with minor amounts of silt and clay
tation of a natural gradient saturatedzone tracer test involv-
[Rehfeldt et al., 1989]. The aquifer overlies the Eutaw
ing a limited area pulseinjection.The study,referredto as aquitardwhoseupperelevationvariesfromabout55to 52 m
MADE 1 (firstmacrodispersion experiment),wasperformed msl, while the local grade varies from about 67 to 65 m msl.
at the site of the Columbus Air Force Base (CAFB) in The local water table varies seasonally from a low of about
northeasternMississippi.The overallgoalof the fieldexper- 61 m in late fall to a high of 63-65 m in late winter or early
imentation was to test the validity and practicality of re-
spring.
cently developed stochastictheories [e.g., Gelhar and Ax-
Gravimetric and volumetric analyses from four cores
ness, 1983; Dagan, 1984] which describe field-scale
indicate a gradual decreasein porosity with elevation within
dispersivemixing in heterogeneousaquifers.The Columbus
the aquifer. The average porosity and standard deviation
site is particularly interestingbecauseof the high degreeof
from 84 core segments were 0.31 and 0.08, respectively
heterogeneity and the large-scale variations in hydraulic
[Boggset al., 1990, this issue]. Because of potential consol-
conductivity. A primary objective is the evaluationof the
idation during core extraction, the mean may be a lower
macrodispersivityas it is influencedby the large-scaleflow
bound and subsequentanalysis assumesa porosity of n =
nonuniformity at this site. 0.35.
In the tracer test, conducted between October 1986 and
Severalaquifertestsprovide globalestimatesfor horizon-
June1988,10m3 of tracersolution wasinjected through five
tal and vertical hydraulicconductivitiesK h and Kv [Boggs
closelyspacedinjectionwells over a periodof 48 hours.The
et al., 1990].For the site as a whole, test AT2 (with pumping
screenedinterval of the tracer injectionwells was about0.6
well located approximately 60 m downgradient from the
m, between elevations 57 and 58 m msl. Figure 1 shows a
localinjection site;seeFigure1) impliesKh '-'-2 X 10-2
planview of the site identifyingthe point of tracerinjection
as well as locations of the multilevel samplers,borehole
crn/s and K v = 2.8 x 10-3 crn/s. Thetracerinjection serves
as a more local aquifer test indicating that, within a distance
flowmeter wells used for determininghydraulic conductiv-
of 20-30m downgradient of theinjection, Kn = 2.6 x 10-3
ity, and observationwells usedfor measuringpiezometric crn/sor almost 1 order of magnitudelower than that given by
head.The injectedsolutionincludeda total of seventracers, AT2.
but manyof thesewere exploratoryin natureandthe only Also of importanceto the tracer study is the strongspatial
onethat hasbeenanalyzedin detailis bromide.The injected variability in hydraulic conductivity, which can be expected
massof bromidewas 25 kg, resultingin an injectionconcen- to produce strongmacrodispersioneffects [Gelhar and Ax-
tration of 2500 mg/L (ppm). hess,1983;
Dagan,1984;Gelharetal., 1992].Thevariabilit'Y
at the Columbus site is greater than at other intensively
Site Characterization studied field sites including Otis Air Force Base on Cape
Cod, Massachusetts [LeBlanc et al., 1991] and the Borden
Detaileddescriptions of thesitefeatures
aredeveloped by landfill in Ontario [Sudicky, 1986]. Figure 2 displays thi
Boggset al. [1990,thisissue];thefocushereis onthemain heterogeneityin terms of contours of hydraulic conductivity,
featurespertinen.
t to interpretationof thetracertest.The along the longitudinal-vertical section A-A' identified in
aquiferis an alluvialterracedepositassociated with the Figure 1. Hydraulic conductivity was computed from bore-
Copyright1992by theAmerican GeophysicalUnion. hole flowmeter rates following procedures outlined by Reh-
Papernumber 92WR01757. feldt et al. [1989]. Figure 2 suggestsan increasingtrend in
0043-1397/92/92WR-01757505.00 conductivity with elevation above the aquitard and with
3293
3294 ADAMSANDGELHA_R:
FIELDSTUDYOFDISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,2

o FLONMETER

&

Fig. 1. Locationof multilevelsamplers(usedduringlasttwo surveys),boreholeflowmeters,piezometers,aquifertest


pumpingwell, and tracer injection.

distancedowngradient from the injection, until about 150 m decreasein massrecovery and severalpossibleexplanations
at which point the longitudinaltrend reverses.Note that the of the mass underecovery are discussed. The sensitivity of
injectionis locatedin a regionof comparativelylow hydrau- the moments estimates to mass loss errors is then demon-
lic conductivity, which is consistentwith the previously stratedby analyzingseveral different plume extrapolations.
mentioned aquifer tests. Analysis of 2187 hydraulic conduc- The moments information is interpreted by applying two
tivity measurementsfrom 49 test wells givesa meanestimate differenttransportmodels:(1) pure advectionfrom a contin-
for the variance in the natural log of K (undetrended)of 4.5 uous source and (2) advection and dispersion in a nonuni-
[Boggs et al., 1990]. form flow field. The advection-dispersionmodel is usedto
Contours of head are shown in Figure 3 based on the estimatethe longitudinal dispersivity.
observation wells shown in Figure 1. Shallow wells are
screenedover elevationsof about 60-61 m and deep wells
are screened at an elevation of about 56 m msl. The head TRACER CONCENTRATIONS

data imply flow toward regions of high hydraulicconductiv- Bromide was sampledusing an array of multilevel sam-
ity, resultingin horizontalconvergenceand verticallyup- plers (MLS). Although severaldifferent designsand methods
ward flow over the first 100-200 m downgradientfrom the of installation were used, most MLS contained about 25
injection.
portswith a typical vertical spacingof 0.38 m extendingover
Considerable additional data have been collected at the
a vertical interval of about 54-62 m msl. The array was
CAFB sitewith particularemphasis
on characterizing
spatial extendeddowngradientas the experimentprogressedand
variability of hydraulic conductivity. Data include results the 189 MLS sampledduring the last two "snapshots" are
from slugtests,double-packertests,lab permeameter tests, shown in Figure 1.
grainsizeanalyses,varioussurfacegeophysicalstudies,and The basicarray was sampledduringeight surveysor "snap-
boreholegeophysicallogs [Boggset al., 1990]. shots," extendingover a period of about 600 days from the
time of injection(seeTable 1). Samplingconsistedof withdraw-
Scope
ing equal quantitiesof fluid from each port with a portable
The analysisof the tracer experimentis developedfirst peristalticpump.A typicalsurveytook 2 or 3 days.Collected
throughgraphicalpresentationswhich displayoverall fea- samples werethentransportedto the TVA LaboratoryBranch
tures of the concentration distribution as it evolves. The (Chattanooga,
Tennessee)and analyzedby high-pressure liq-
spatial moments of the concentration are then estimated uidchromatography (HPLC). It shouldbe notedthat not all of
fromthe actualconcentration
datausinga linearinterpola- the samplesfor snapshot8 (elapsedtime - 594 days) were
tion scheme.The 0th momentanalysisrevealsa systematic analyzed; data that were analyzed are limited to the plume
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELD
STUDY
OFDISPERSION
INA HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3295
A ,
I I

84
INJECTION
SITE

60

SB

m 54

S0

4B
tO- < K < 10e i'-: 18-4 < K < /0 -9
ili 10-2 < K < 10-' K < [0 -4 Icmls) FLON
46

1
-2O 2B0

E)i.,:;-!:anc (rn)

Fig. 2. Hydraulic conductivityalongplumecenterline(sectionA-A' in Figure 1 [fromBoggset al., 1990]).Tic marks


denote measurementsof hydraulic conductivity usingborehole flowmeter.

centerline and the downgradient region composedof MLS to be irregular and patchy with a persistent minimum lbr all
installed subsequentto snapshot 7. Details concerningthe snapshotsat a distance of about 25 m downgradient. The
samplingand chemical analysis are describedby Betsonet al. concentration downstream from the peak should decrease
[1985]and Boggs et al. [this issue]. monotonically in the direction of flow, suggestingthat even
with the rather dense sampling network, some details of the
Horizontal Data Presentation concentration distribution were not being captured.
Figures 5a-Sd display tracer concentrations (parts per
Figures 4a-4h display contours in the horizontal plane of
million) in four horizontal slices for "snapshot 7" which was
depth-maximum bromide concentration in units of milli-
sampledapproximately 500 days after the injection and is the
gramsper liter (parts per million) for each of the eight snap-
last snapshotto be analyzed completely. Because they are at
shots.Contours were generatedby linear interpolationafter
fixed elevations, the contours in Figure 5 show even more
triangulatingthe horizontal coordinatesof the MLS array. In
order to account for tracer mass on the MLS (lateral) bound- patchinessthan the contours of depth-maximum concentra-
aries,the plume was extrapolatedby addinga set of fictitious tion shown in Figure 4.
zero-concentration MLS at a prescribeddistance(the typical Finally, Figure 5e shows depth-integrated contours (units
MLS spacingof 6 m) from the outsideof the array. of ppm m) for the same snapshot. Vertical integration
For each snapshotthe downgradientextent of the MLS assumes a porosity of 0.35 and, to account for any finite
array at the time of samplingis indicatedby an arrow. The concentration at the top and bottom of the MLS array, the
finite concentrations recorded at the edge of the array plume was extrapolated by adding fictitious zero concentra-
suggestthat the tracer hasmigratedpastthe MLS array in all tion ports above and below the uppermost and lowermost
cases.Uncertainty associatedwith plumetruncationis dis- ports, respectively, of each MLS. The top zero-concentra-
cussedin a following section. tion port was located either 0.38 m above the top port (0.38
Figure 4 suggeststhat the plume was transportedessen- m is the vertical port spacing) or at elevation 61.5 m (the
tially downgradientwith substantiallateral spreading.The approximate elevation of the water table), whichever was
overalldilution of the plume was very rapid, reflectingthe higher. The lower zero-concentration port was located either
strongdispersivemixingin thisvery heterogeneous material. 0.38 m below the bottom port or at elevation 53.5 m (the
In 500 daysthe maximumconcentration detecteddecreased approximate elevation of the aquitard), whichever was
from2500to 99 ppm,thoughthe peakmovedlessthan10m lower. Sensitivity of plume calculations to horizontal and
fromthe injectionpoint(seeFigure49). The plumetended vertical extrapolationis discussedin the following section
3296 ADAMSANDGELHAR:FIELDSTUDYOFDISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,2

SHALLOW OBSERVATION WELLS DEEP OBSERVATION WELLS

s o

MLS
400
N
Boundary

35O

300

250
6?' .6
Injection Point

200

150
`50 1 O0 150 200 250 0 $0 1 O0 1.50 200 250
meters meters

Fig. 3. Piezometrichead[fromBoggset al., !990].Polygondenotesboundaryof multilevelsamplersduringlast two


surveys.Symbolsdenotepiezometerlocations.

Vertical Data Presentation significantconcentrationsappear at the leading edge much


Figures 6a-6h show concentration contours along the
soonerand the peak concentrationsare much higher for the
longitudinal-vertical section I-I' shown in Figure 1. These sampleddistributionsthan for the "equivalent" Gaussian
distribution. This observation suggestssome obvious limita-
figures again show the extreme patchinessas well as the
plume's tendency to migrate upward and spreadthrough tions of applying a traditional second-momentanalysisto
regionsof highesthydraulic conductivity. characterize plume dispersionat this site.

PLUME SPATIAL MOMENTS


Longitudinal Mass Distribution
Spatialmomentswere computedfor each snapshotusing
Figures 7a-7 plot the longitudinaldistributionof total the definition
massfor snapshots2-7 usinga longitudinal" stepsize" of 10
m. In each case the distribution was normalized by the
amount of mass recovered (i.e., the area under each curve is
unity) and a Gaussiandistribution with similar 0th, 1st, and
2nd longitudinal moments has been superimposedfor com- where c(x, y, z) is the sampledconcentration,n is porosity
parison. These figures confirm that, after snapshot3, the (assumedequal to 0.35), and i,j,k are nonnegative integers.
plumeis stronglynon-Gaussian,with a long front of reason- The moments algorithm is essentially as described by Gara-
ably uniform massdensity leading a very slow movingcore bedian et al. [199!] and involves first a vertical integrationat
region. By snapshot7 (elapsedtime - 503 days) approxi- each MLS, assuminglinear interpolation of concentration
mately 50% of the recovered mass remained in the core betweenports, followedby horizontalintegration,assuming
(definedby a downgradientdistancelessthan 20 m) and the linear interpolation over a triangulated domain. Zero-
peak of the massdistributionhad migratedonly about 5 m, concentration ports were included along the top, bottom,
representinga velocity of about 0.01 m/d. By contrast,the andsidesof the MLS array, as describedpreviously.Famil-
leading edge was moving at a rate of greater than 0.4 m/d iar plumepropertiessuchas centerof mass(, y, z-) and
based on the fact that significant tracer was found at the spatialsecond-centralmomenttensorwere then computed
farthestdowngradientMLS (- 250 m from injection)during from the moments.Note that calculationswere performed
snapshot8 (elapsedtime - 594 days). alongfixed Cartesianaxes x, y, z (see Figure 1), and then
Two important characteristicsof a contaminantplumeare transformedto principalaxesby diagonalizing the second-
the arrival time of significantconcentrations(at the leading moment matrix of the plume. Plume characteristicsare
edge) and the magnitude of peak concentration.Note that describedin Table 1, which also summarizesadditional
ADAMS
AND
GELHAR:
FIELD
STUDY
OFDISPERSION
INAHETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3297

, . . . a)Snapshot
1(day
9;cm= 2050
ppm) . .

a) 61meters

b) 60meters
b)Snapshot
2 (day
49;cax
= 1200)

c) 59meters

*<:1 c)Snapshot
3(day
126;
c.sx
= 350)

d) 58meters

. . d)Snapshot
4 (day
202;
cx= 240)

Fig. 5. Tracerconcentration
in horizontalplanefor snapshot
7.
Fiduciarymarksare spacedevery 20 m. (a-d) Contoursof constant
concentration(parts per million). (e) Depth-integratedconcentra-

.. e)
Snapshot
5(day
279;
cax
=210) tion (ppm m) assumingporosityequal to 0.35. Plotted contoursare
0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30, etc.

............... informationfor eachsnapshot,includingthe numberof MLS

..... .i
. '
........
f]Snapshot
6(day
370;
c,,x
=130)
analyzed,
the
maximum
observed
concentra
(both
with and without spatial filtering), and the maximum concentra-
tion of an equivalent Gaussian distribution.

............... Peak Concentrations

............. Figure 8 plots peak observed and equivalent Gaussian


....... ' ..... concentrations
versus
mum concentration time.In
observed, addition
two tothe
spatially actual
filtered maxi-
maxima
...... aregiven.Filter 1 refersto a uniformspatialaverageof all
...... sample points within a horizontal distance of 5 m and a
$ )Snap,hot
*(ay
s03;
c,,==
0) vertical
distance
of0.5mofa given
port;
filter2 issimilar
exceptthe horizontaldistanceis 10 m and the vertical
........... distance
is 1.0 m. In the first casebetween5 and 10points
typically
contribute
tothe
average,
while
inthe
second
case
between40 and50pointscontributeto theaverage.It canbe
' ' seen
thatevenwiththelarger
filterinterval,
observed
peak
h)Shayshot
(aay
S4;
, =0.(y>S0m)) concentrations
aftersnapshot
2 aresignificantly
greater
than
............... the equivalentGaussianpeaks,confirmingthe earlierobser-
. ............ ,. vation
based
onlongitudinal
mass
distribution.
Fig.4. Horizontal
contours
ofdepth-maximum
concentration
Fractional
MassRecovery
(partsper million)for snapshots
1-8. Fiduciarymarksare spaced
every20 m. Overallmaximum
concentrations
are indicated
in Figure9 showsfractionalmassrecoveryversustime. In
parentheses.
Arrows
indicate
maximum
length
ofMLSarray.
Note addition
to thebasecaseestimate
of porosity
(n = 0.35),
that
analysis
forsnapshot
8isincomplete
fory 150m.Plottedcalculations
arealso
plotted
forn = 0.3and0.4.Notethat
contours
are
0.3,
!,3,10,
30,etc. calculations
havealso
been
made
forsnapshot
8 (elapsed
3298 ADAMS AND GELHAR: FIELD STUDY OF DISPERSIONIN A HETEROGENEOUSAQUIFER, 2

time - 594 days). Because not all samples for snapshot8


were analyzed, this estimate was made by adding the mass
recovered during snapshot 8 from the downgradient MLS
added after snapshot7 to a "discounted" mass associated
with snapshot7. The "discount" was 76% basedon the ratio
Snapshot
1
of averageconcentrationsfrom MLS analyzed duringboth
snapshots7 and 8. Inclusion of results for snapshot8
indicatesthat the major expansionof the MLS array be-
tween snapshots7 and 8 has increasedmass recovery
somewhat.Nevertheless,the generalpatternof decreasing
massrecovery with time persists. In early snapshots,mass
recoveryexceeds100%, while with successivesnapshots,
b) Snapshot
2
massrecovery declinesmonotonically, being about 100% at
snapshot3 and decliningto less than 50% at snapshot7.
The excessivemassrecovery in early snapshotscould be
due to spurioushydraulic connection among MLS, due to
their methodof installationand enhancedby the pressureof
injection.This possibilityis examinedin greaterdetailby
Boggs and Young [1988], who describe results of some field
c) Snapshot
3 tests of MLS conductedprior to tracer injection. It is also
probablethat the injected tracer solution was initially con-
centrated in regions of relatively high local hydraulic con-
ductivity. To the extent the MLS samplepreferentiallyfrom
thoseregions,while the spatialintegrationusedto compute
massrecovery assumesuniform tracer concentration, initial
mass recovery would be overestimated.
d) Snapshot
4
The subsequentdecrease in mass recovery to levels far
lessthan 100% is consideredto be a greater concern because
it affects our interpretation of the plume at longer and more
environmentally relevant time scales. It should, however, be
recognized that a similar degree of mass loss was found in
the caseof the Bordentracer experiment[Freyberg, 1986].A
recent reanalysisof the Borden data [Rajaram and Gelhat,
e) Snapshot
5 1991] shows mass recoveries as low as 50% in the later
samplingsessions.Several possibilitieswere explored to
20 m addressthe issue of declining mass recovery; each is dis-
cussedbriefly below.
2m["' Horizontal plume truncation. As illustratedin Figure 4,
the leadingedgeof the plume is truncatedin all surveys.This
clearly results in some mass loss, and indeed it may be the
f) Snapshot
6
most important factor in the mass loss. On the other hand,
because only small amounts of tracer were detected along
the lateral and upstreamedgesof the MLS array, especially
duringthe later snapshots,one can concludethat horizontal
truncationwas primarily limited to the downgradientdirec-
tion. Estimatesof truncationlosscan be madeby estimating
the likely rangeof solutevelocityand then extrapolatingthe
g) Snapshot
7 plume downgradient based on observed mass densities at the
leading edge. Solute velocity can be estimated from mea-
surementsof hydraulic conductivity and the gradient of
piezometric head, but such estimates are weakened by the
largespatialvariability in K, especiallywhen consideringthe
maximum solute velocity which would define the leading
edge.
Alternatively, solutevelocity can be estimatedby noting
the relative increase/decreasein mass recovery between
successivesurveys as a function of the increase in MLS
h) Snapshot
8 coverage. For example, between snapshots7 and 8 (an
Fig. 6. Contours of tracer concentration(parts per million) elapsedtime of 91 days) the MLS array was extendedby
alongplume centerline(sectionI-I' in Figure 1). Horizontal scaleis about 100 m, while the mass recovery increasedfrom 43 to
same as Figures 4 and 5. Vertical scale is distorted !0X. Plotted 48% of injectedmass.Assuminga massdensityof 0.00175
contours are 0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30, etc.
m- attheleading
edge(seeFigure7), a massbalance
based
on a movingcontrolvolumesuggests
a solutevelocityof
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELD
STUDY
OFDISPERSION
INAHETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3299

- DATA 0.O7 DATA


08
I. 0.136 GAUSS
o
.

o
o.o ]
.0.03 z
0.03
0J32

O.O O.ol
,,,I,,, , i,, ,,ll,, , i,, ,i,,,, i,, i o.oo -
0.O(0400
-50 0 50 100150200250300 -lOO -5o o 50 lOO 150 330 IOO
Longitudinal
Distance
(meters) Longitudinal
Distance
(metere)
a) Snapsiot
' (dy49) d) Snapshot
5 (day279)

0.08

O.O7 DATA

o
"----g
ATAI
.....
1 GAUSS 0.136 GAUSS

o
0.O4 0.o4
.N
om 0.(:13

0J32

0.01

0ffi ,,,lil,,llll&l,,,
-100 -50 0 50 100 150 20O -lOO -50 o 50 1Do 15o 330
b3ngitudinal
Distance
(mete's) b3ngiludinal
Distan (meters)
b)Snapshot
3 (day126) e) Snapshot
6 (day370)

0.(38

O.O7 0)7 .....DATA


0.08 0.06 ..... GAU

0.O4 o.
' o.a
o.
O.Ol

o.ao O "*:: ,, .... I,,,


-100 -50 0 513 1 150 200
Lor Distance
(meters) i Da (
c) Snapshot
4 (day202) Snarehot7 (day3)

Fig. 7. Longitudinal mass distribution versus time.

about0.8 m/d, meaningtheplumecouldhavetraveledabout muchas -- 10-15%of injectedmassfor snapshot6, or aslittle


400m throughsnapshot7. Sincethe arraylengthwas only as +2% for snapshot 7. The differencein sensitivitymaybe
160m, about 40% of the injectedmasscould have been due to the differencein water table elevation.Snapshot6
transporteddowngradientof the array. Similar calculations took placeduringearlyNovember, at a time of low ground-
basedonsnapshots 6 and7 suggest a solutevelocityof about water level, while snapshot7 occurredin mid-March, with
0.9 m/d leadingto a truncationloss of about 50% as of near-maximum water levels. The infiltration of fresh water
snapshot7. duringthe latter survey most likely resultedin lower con-
Vertical plume truncation. Nonzero concentrations centrationsat the upper ports.
were often observedat the uppermostport of many MLS Vadosezone concentrations. During the winter of 1987/
andoccasiohally at the lowermost. This effectwasac- 1988, nine cores were collected and analyzed for tracer
countedfor by an extrapolationproceduredescribedprevi- mass. The spatially integrated concentration was less than
ously.Sensitivitytests,designedto gaugethe uncertaintyin 2% of the injectedmass, suggestingthat this was not an
thisprocedure,suggest
anuncertainty
in massrecoveryof as important source.
3300 ADAMS AND GELHAlt.:FIELD STUDY OF DISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER, 2

TABLE 1. Plume Characteristics,Snapshots2-7

Snapshot

Characteristic 2 3 4 5 6 7

Elapsedtime, days 49 126 202 279 370 503


Numberof MLS analyzed 61 102 124 128 139 162
Fractionalmassrecovery* 2.06 0.99 0.68 0.62 0.54 0.43
Center of mass,? m
. 0.12 -2.91 -3.50 -4.15 -5.56 -14.1
37 3.54 8.20 11.3 14.! 18.1 43.2
58.14 58.82 58.52 58.48 58.53 59.03
Mean displacement,m
hor 3.54 8.70 11.8 14.7 18.9 45.6
/.ver 0.64 1.32 1.02 0.98 1.03 1.53
Variances
alongprincipal
axes,m2
2680
crl 38.8 131 170 304 520 79.9
o'_
cry3
19.2 22.5
3.21 3.26
15.0
2.78
17.0
2.73
23.1
3.06 2.94
Orientationof principalaxes, deg -29.6 19.5 15.1 16.2 17.7 18.0
counterclockwise from local y
Maximum observed concentration, ppm
No filter 1200 440 240 210 130 99
Ah = 5 m; Av = 0.5 m 320 146 89.8 67.8 54.7 30.0
Ah = 10 m; Av = 1.0 m !67 83.9 44.7 38.4 30.4 19.5
"Equivalent" Gaussiandistribution 181 45.8 36.8 23.7 12.7 2.44

*Assumes porosity n = 0.35.


?Origintaken as point of injection (x, y) and mean sea level (z).

Uncertainty in porosity. The mean porosity measured throughsnapshot6, between five and seven of the MLS each
from 84 core segmentswas 0.31 and, to accountfor potential contributedover 5% of the recovered mass. Sensitivity tests
consolidationduring handling, an estimatedporosity of 0.35 in which certain MLS were omitted from the spatial inter-
was chosen. Experience at other sites and the measured polationshowedvariation of order 5% in massrecovery. In
standard deviation of 0.08 suggestan uncertainty in n of responseto this concern, 14 additional MLS were added to
order +0.05, which translates to about a 15% uncertaintyin the interior of the array (within 30 m from the point of
mass recovery. injection) between snapshots 6 and 7. In the analysis of
Concentrations below detection level. The reported de- snapshot 7, only one MLS contributed over 5% of the
tection level for the HPLC analysis of bromide was 0.01 recovered mass. While this increased our confidence regard-
ppm. As the plume grew larger and average concentration ing horizontal resolution, it raised another serious concern:
decreased, the possibility was raised that calculated mass The newly installed MLS had consistently lower concentra-
recovery was influenced by the assumptionthat measure- tion than neighboringolder MLS. Compared with a mass
ments below detection were rounded to zero. However, a recovery of 43% with all MLS, the recovery calculated
calculation made for snapshot 7 in which concentrations without the new MLS was 47%, or a relative increase of 9%.
below detection were rounded up to 0.01 ppm showedan This suggests the possibility of sampler bias, which is
increasein massrecovery of lessthan 0.5% of injectedmass, explored further below.
suggestingthat this was not a significant source of uncer- MLS bias. There are several mechanisms that could
tainty. contribute to an undersamplingof plume mass by an indi-
Horizontal MLS resolution. The high variabilityin aqui- vidual MLS. First, there is some suggestionof a negative
fer properties and observed tracer concentrationraised the correlationbetween tracer concentrationand hydraulic con-
possibilitythat the MLS spacingwas insufficientto resolve ductivity, especiallyin the more concentratedregions of the
plume features. This concern was reinforcedby the fact that plume. Assumingthat each MLS port draws preferentially

lO4 o CMAX(Ohs) ' I! ..... n=0.40


E] CMAX(Filter1) 1, - - -n=0.35
lO
3
ooo
o CMAX(Filter2)
CMAX(Gauss) ._. l?,,, n=0.30
, 102

E
:3 101
._

10o ,,,,I .... I,,,,I .... I .... I,,,,I ....

lOO 2oo 3oo 4oo 5oo 6oo 7OO O0 1 300 4


Elapsed
Time(days) Elapsed
Time(days)

Fig. 8. Peakconcentration
versustime. Fig. 9. Fractional
massrecoveryversustime.
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELDSTUDY
OFDISPERSION
INAHETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3301

fromregionsof highestlocalconductivity
suggests
anunder-
sampling
for tracer mass. Concentrationwould be lower in ,.:! Fob
s(x)
themorehighlyconductive region,andby a marginthat .. - .... Fscaled(X)
increases
with time, becausethe morehighlyconductive
regions
are more easilyflushed.Second,breakthrough
curvesfor laboratory columns show some retardationof
bromide
relativeto a conservative
reference
tracer(tritium).
Theseobservationsare explainedby the attractionof the
anionic
tracer(bromide)to thepositivelycharged
ironoxide
surface
expectedat the low sitevaluesof pH. Calculations I I
basedon these column tests suggestthat about 19% of the Xl X2longitudinal
distance
injectedtracer may be associatedwith solidsand hence Fig. 11. Hypotheticallongitudinalmass distributionused in sen-
unavailableto be sampled [BoggsandAdams,thisissue].In sitivity studiesof plume truncation errors.
combination withmatrixdiffusion, sorptioncouldalsohelp
explainthehighinitialmassrecoveryandtheslowresponse
time,in additionto the low equilibriumrecovery[Goltzand dinalvariance ((r]2)appears to growat an accelerated
rate
Roberts, 1987]. whilecrY2
(essentially
the lateralvariance)increases
in a
Further evidence for these mechanismsis found in com- moregradual(andnonmonotonic) fashion,andcr33
(essen-
parisonsof tracer concentrations
analyzedfrom six seg- tially the vertical variance) shows little trend. One notes that
mentedcoresand correspondingMLS (eachabout 1 m from 0- maybesignificantly affectedby plumetruncation (tobe
itscompanioncore) duringOctober1988(approximately 2 discussed in greaterdetailbelow)whilecr22 and (r3are
yearsafter injection[Boggsand Adams,this issue]).For expected to be much less affected.
eachcore segment,fluid wasfirst extractedat a pressureof
0.5 bar and then additional fluid was extracted at 5 bar. MOMENTS SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS
Concentrationsof fluidextractedat the lowerpressurewere From the preceding discussion it is clear that the plume
significantly
lower than those of corresponding fluid ex-
has been truncated longitudinally, and that a major portion
tractedat the higher pressure. In addition, for some of the
of the "missing mass" could be downgradient of the MLS
segments, tracer was chemicallyextracted;in general,con-
array. It is also probable that some of the missing mass
centrationcomputed for these segmentswas greater still.
resideswithin the samplingarray, but is simply being under-
Takenas a whole, the average ratio of tracer massextracted
sampled. The following sensitivity study examines how our
by the MLS to that extracted from the cores (using a
interpretationof plume shape (i.e., the longitudinal spatial
weightedaverageof concentrationfrom the two pressures) moments) varies with different assumptions concerning
was0.79. If accountis taken of the finite separationbetween these two sources of missing mass.
coreand correspondingMLS, usingconcentrationgradients Consider a longitudinal mass distribution as shown in
obtainedin snapshot7 (sampled9 monthsearlier), the ratio Figure 11. The longitudinal coordinate is x and, unlike the
was 0.62. Assuming that none of the sorbed tracer was
distributionsshown in Figure 7, the solid line in Figure 11
removedby the pressureextraction,we can multiplythese representsthe mass actually sampled, based on an assumed
ratiosby 0.81 (the fractionof unsorbedtracerimpliedby the porosity of n = 0.35. That is, the area under the curve
columntests)to estimateratiosof tracermassextractableby
equalsthe fractional mass recovery for the snapshot,as
theMLS to that within the core (sorbedplus liquid phase) summarizedin Table 1. The longitudinalextent of the array
rangingfrom 0.64 to 0.50. The implied MLS bias of 50-100%
is givenby x 1, andthe dottedline over the intervalx -< x 1
couldcertainlyaccountfor a significantportionof the mass represents an assumed scaled mass distribution, which is
loss.
linearly proportionalto the observed distribution. The scaled
distributionis relatedto the observeddistributionaccording
Spatial Variances to

Figure 10 showsthe spatialvariancein the threeprincipal n

directionsas a functionof meandisplacement. The longitu- fsca(X)= fobs(X) SUF (2)


0.35

where SUF is a "scale-upfactor" accountingfor MLS bias


or verticalplumetruncationand n is an assumedporosity.
1ongitudinal The scaledfractional mass recovery is thus related to the
2.5 -- -lateral.10
- - -vert
"observed"massrecovery(Table 1) accordingto
- zo
n

Fsca= FobsSUF (3)


0.35

The remainingmass(1 - Fsca)is assumedto be distributed


o downgradient
overa distance
xaa= x2 - x , witha uniform
.- ,'----,I , ,',, I .... I .... I .... density
which
isextrapolated
fromtheobserved
density
faa
oo lO 20 30 40 50 near the end of the array:
MeanDisplacement
(meters)
n
Fig. 10. Variancesalongprincipalaxesversusmeandisplace-
ment. fsca,dg
=fdgSUF0.3-'- (4)
3302 ADAMS AND GELHA.R:FIELD STUDY OF DISPERSIONIN A HETEROGENEOUSAQUIFER, 2

1.0 -- 0,-- - ..o..


": ''"" "
,.
"*' ' ' 0
";;....'--......
;.";'..... ., ...... o

i.OI
....
0
i....
I....
t,.,l,,,,i,,,,
100
....
2120 300

Time(days)
400 500 8[ 70o

d) Sewne rs. time

'% ,,,.

,"
' .."'1 ":"
o...
150 '" "/ '.:' \ ', '.

..- o.'/ /..' ..-

. ....:....

0 lOO 233 30o 40o 5c13 oo 7oo


Time(days) ma (days)
b) Meandisp4acement
vs.time a) Ks rs. ame

...,, -
'.:.,:-:.-
' .:-':
;-' '
o .:. ::',L..:, .... , ......... 0 I .... i .... l.,,,il,,,
0 100 2ffi3oo 4oo 500 0 70o 0 lOO 200 3o 4oo
Time(days) MeanDispacemet
(meters)
c) Standard
deviation
va,dine
f) Variance
rs. meandispacement

Fig. 12. Sensitivity of longitudinal


moments to uncertainties
in porosity
(n = 0.35 _ 0.05) andMLS bias(SUF =
1.3+ 0.3).Solidlinesrepresent basecase(n = 0.35, SUF = !.3), longdashes representsensitivity
to porosity
(n =
0.30, 0.40 withSUF = 1.3),shortdashes representsensitivity
to MLS bias(SUF = 1.0, 1.6withn = 0.35), dots
representjoint variation(n = 0.3, SUF -- 1.0;n = 0.4, SUF = 1.6),andcirclesrepresentthecaseof no truncation
error.

such that
1.3 representsa best estimateof parametersand the varia-
tion representsour estimate of uncertainty based on the
Xctafsca,dg
= 1 -- Fsca (5) precedingdiscussion. An additionalrun was madeby select-
(Seedashed
lineinFigure
11.)Asa reference,
a value
offag ing SUF for each snapshotto be as large as necessarysuch
equalto 0.00175
m- waschosen
byextrapolating
themass thatxaain (5) waszero(i.e., no longitudinal
plumetrunca-
distributionfor snapshot7 (Figure7f). tion). Resultsare plottedin Figures12a-12f where, in each
A setof ninemomentscalculations wasperformed usinga case,the solidline representsthe basecase(n = 0.35, SUF
matrixof n = 0.30, 0.35, and 0.40 andSUF = 1.0, 1.3, 1.6. = 1.3), long dashesrepresentsensitivityto porosity(n =
The central(basecase)combinationof n = 0.35 and SUF = 0.30, 0.40 with SUF = 1.3), shortdashesrepresentsensi-
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELDSTUDY
OFDISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3303

tivityto MLS bias (SUF = 1.0, 1.6 with n = 0.35), dots I XBAR
representjoint variation(n = 0.3, SUF = 1.0; n = 0.4, / -SGX I
$UF = 1.6), and the circles represent the case of no
truncation
error.Resultsare shownfor all eightsnapshots, " / ..... KURTX'100
I
with the moments for snapshot8 estimatedfrom the concen-
trationssampled during snapshots7 and 8, as discussed 100
previously.
Figure12a showsthe inferredtotal plumelengthx2
comparedto the array lengthx (denotedby the circles),
plusthedowngradient
contribution
xaa.Notethat,for the
latersnapshots,
xaa represents
a substantial
portionof the ,

plumeunder all of the parametercombinations,but is 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
obviouslygreatestfor smallestporosityandleastMLS bias. Time

Underthe basecaseassumptions,
the totalplumelengthby a) Moments
versus
time
snapshot8 (ET = 594 days) would have been 430 m which
representsa velocity of about 0.7 m/d, comparedwith an
impliedvelocityof about0.4 m/d if therehadbeenno plume
truncation(x 2 = x = 260 m) and a velocity of over 1 rn/d
basedon the most conservativeassumptions. 15
Figures 12b- 12e displaythe time variationof the first four
longitudinalmoments, defined in terms of the central mo-
ments/xi given by
E 5
Mean displacement
0
= M/Mo (6) 0 50 100 150 200
MeanDisplacement
(meters)
Variance
b)Longitudinal
variance
vs.meandisplacement
2 2
2= 2 = M2/M-- M/M
O'x (7) Fig. 13. Moments evolution: observed data scaledwith base case
Skewness parameter assumptions.

M3/Mo_ 3MM2/M+ 2M1/M


3
o3

3 (8)
2orx 2orx
Kurtosis
given time vary substantially with parameter assumptions
4 (recall Figures 12b and 12c), their ratio is remarkably
1.5
constant. Under the assumption of a uniform flow field,
longitudinaldispersivityis defined simply as
M4/Mo-4M,M3/Mo
2+ 6M2M2/M-
3M/M
= 4
- 1.5 1 dcrx
2
2orx Al = (10)
2 d
(9)
Subsequent discussion will suggest that this is not a good
whereMi = Mi,0,0definedby (1). assumption,but it may be instructive to perform the calcu-
For and crx, the trends are the sameas for the total lation. Using (10), A increases initially with time for all
distributionlength: The same parameter combinationsthat parameterassumptionswhile at later times A varies less,
requirelong plume extrapolationresult in large values of displaying either a mild increase or decrease with time
meandisplacementand plume length. dependingon parameter assumptions. Through snapshot 8,
However, an oppositetrend is shownfor the third and the calculatedvalue ofA (using (10)) varies between about
fourth moments: Longitudinal skewnessand kurtosisare 50 m and 75 m depending on porosity and MLS bias.
greatestif there is no plumetruncation,and they declineas Several additional sensitivity runs were made with differ-
additionalmass is added downgradient.Althoughthe mag- entvaluesoffag andassumptions
concerning
theformof the
nitudes of both the skewhess and kurtosis vary with the downgradientmass distribution (e.g., a triangular distribu-
assumed variation in n and SUF, the variation in later tion rather than a uniform distribution). Although there were
snapshots is lessthanthe trendover time illustratedfor any quantitativedifferencesin computed moments, the trends in
singleparametercombination.For all parametercombina- momentevolution were within the range shown by the runs
tions, the skewnessfirst increaseswith time, reachinga presented above. In order that the field data can be com-
value of order unity and then graduallydecreasesto zero. pared with simple model predictions, discussedbelow, mo-
For most parametercombinations,the kurtosisalso in- mentsfor the scaleddata (usingbasecaseparametersof n =
creasesinitially, reachinga value as high as about 2, and 0.35 and SUF = 1.3) are replotted in Figure 13; Figure 13a
thendeclinestoward an equilibriumvalue of between-0.5 plots the first four momentsversus time while Figure 13b
and - 1. plotscq2
versus.In addition,Figure13a alsoplotsa
Figure 12f displayslongitudinalvariance versusmean transversestandard deviation defined by (0'220'33)
1/2
, using
displacement.
Whilethemagnitudes ofboth0-x2 andatany data presentedin Table 1 and Figure 10.
3304 ADAMSANDGELHA_R:
FIELD STUDYOFDISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,2

INTERPRETATION ', XBAR

In order to help understandthe plume describedabove, ', ',, -- -SIGX


,, ',, - - -SKEWX-100 / -'l
two simpletransportmodels are developed.It shouldbe ',, "., ..... KURTX.100
emphasizedthat the ultimate aim of this research is a 100

physicalunderstanding
of transportprocesses
which will
lead to a predictive model, capable of describingplume
0
characteristicsbased on independently measurableinput
parameters.However, our first stepis a simplediagnostic
model that attempts to explain the plume characteristics
based on likely (but not necessarilymeasurable)model 0 100 2130 300 400 500 600 700
Time(days)
inputs.
a) Moments
vs.time

ContinuousSource in a Uniform Flow Field 25 , , , ', I ' ' ' ' I ' ' ' ' i ' ' '

The first model recognizesthat the tracer was injectedinto


a relatively tight formation and that by the end of the
experiment,much of the mass had remainedvery near the
injectionsite. (The peak moved about $ m in 500 days.)
Meanwhile,massappearedto have slowly "bled" from the
sourceand been transporteddowngradientat a rate up to 2
ordersof magnitudefaster. Hence our "model" is a contin-
uouspoint sourcereleasedinto a uniformflow field. Assume
a sourcelocated at the origin, discharginga unit of massover o
0 59 100 150 200
a period T at a constant rate th -- 1/T. Let the seepage MeanDisplacement
(meters)
velocity be u and neglect longitudinaldispersion.Lateral b)Longitudinal
variance
rs. mean
displacement
and vertical dispersionmay occur, but they do not affectthe
Fig. !4. Moments evolution: continuoussource model.
longitudinalmass distribution. Then the normalizedlongitu-
dinal mass distribution is given by

f(x)= 1- &(x)+
,
ur
O<x-<ut, t<r
(11)
source with no longitudinal dispersion. However, the as-
sumptionwas basedon the observationof a nearly uniform
f(x) =0 x> ut, t < r
mass distribution within the array and a comparison of the
suchthat $0 f(x) dx = 1. The ith longitudinalabsolute theoretical moments (Figure 14) with the observed moments
moment is without any extrapolation (circles in Figures 12b-12f) still
showsqualitative agreement. We conclude that the contin-
(uT)iri+l uous source/uniform flow field model provides a simple
Mi =
T
f(x)x i dx = i+1 (12)
overall description, if not a prediction, of observed plume
behavior.
where r = t/T.
Equations(6)-(9), (11), and (12) were used to computethe
Instantaneous Source in a Two-Dimensional
first four longitudinal moments for a continuous source
resemblingthe MADE 1 plume. Model parametersu = 0.55 Nonuniform Flow Field
rn/d and T = 660 days were estimatedfrom the observed The second model examines the influence of flow nonuni-
massrecovery during snapshots7 and 8. Model momentsare formity by consideringan instantaneousdischarge of unit
plotted in Figures 14a and 14b for comparisonwith the massat time t = 0 at the origin of a steady flow field with
"observed" momentsshown in Figures 13a and 13b. Recall linear variation of seepagevelocity with space.
here and in the subsequentdiscussionthat the "observed" For simplicity we consider a two-dimensionalflow field,
moments shown in Figures 13a and 13b have been com- defined by the Cartesian coordinatesx and y:
putedfrom field measurementsscaledwith basecaseparam-
eterassumptions(n = 0.35, SUF = 1.3) in order to closethe u = u0(1 + ax) v = -uoay (13)
massbalance. ComparingFigures 13a and 14a for snapshot
4 (ET = 200 days) and beyond, good agreementis observed The rationalefor a convergingflow field (a > 0) is inferred
from the head field (see Figure 3) and the large increasein
in the trendsof evolutionof all of the moments,includingthe
monotonicincrease in and crx, the monotonicdecrease hydraulic conductivity that is shown by the borehole
toward zero of the skewness,and the decreaseand asymp- flowmeter observations(Figure 2). These features are dis-
totic limit of the kurtosis. However, the plot of second cussedfurther by Boggs et al. [this issue].
momentversusmean displacement(Figure 14b) clearly does If we assumethat dispersiontakes place alongprincipal
not continue to increase as fast as implied by the data in axes x and y at rates that are proportional to u(x), i.e.,
Figure 13b. To a certain extent the agreement in overall
trendsshouldnot be surprising,becauseour assumptionof a
Dxx= A]]u(x) Dyy= A22u(x
) (14)
uniformdistributionfor missingmassdowngradientfrom the wherethe dispersivities
All andA 22are constants,
thenthe
array is the same as the distribution from a continuous transportequation for t > 0 becomes
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELDSTUDY
OFDISPERSION
iN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3305

Oc Oc Oc OuOc 02c 02c DISP


----+ u +v =All ---+AllU +A22u s ................. '/t
Ot Ox Oy OxOx Ox
2 O2 El SKEW.1OO ?
.....
(15)

Spatialmoments,definedby (1), can be foundthrough


extension
of Aris's [1956]methodof moments,whereinthe
operation 0

( ) x'yJ dxdy (16) .100


0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Time (days)
a) Moments
vs.time
is performedon eachterm of (15) resultingin the general
momentsevolution equation,
' ' ' I " ' ' I ' ' ' I ' ' ' I ' '
d

d'-]
Mid = Uo{Mi,j-2[J(J-
1)A22]
+Mi+l,j-2[j(j-
1)cA22
]
+ Mi-2,j[i(i- 1)Alii+ Mi-l,j[i+ ci2All]
+ Mijc(i-j)} 15

(17) lO

A numerical algorithm was written to evaluate (17) for . 5

arbitrary
initialconditions,
Mij(O), andparameters
a, u0,
0 '
All, and A22. 0 40 8o 120 160 20o
Beforeproceeding,it is usefulto express(17) directlyin MeanDisplacement(meters)
termsof severalof the more recognizablecentralmoments, b) Longitudinal
variance
vs.meandisplacement

using(6)-(9):
Fig. 15. Moments evolution: nonuniform flow model.
d

dt- u(1
+ aAll+ a) (18)
resemblingthe plume and the resulting central moments are
dcr
2 presented in Figures 15a and 15b for comparison with the
= 2uo(A
11-t"og11.-t"O
O'x
2) (19) "observed" moments shown in Figures 13a and 13b. Pa-
rameters
include
u0= 0.03m/d,a = 0.15m-1 crx0
= Cry
0
= 3 m, All = 5 m, and A22 = 0.1 m. These parameters
d/.l,3 were chosenwithin their expected range, consistentwith the
dt = 3u(2aAllrrx
2+ a/x3) (20)
following evaluation, but a precise calibration has not been
attempted. A rough independent evaluation of the flow field
dl 4 2 - 2 parametersu0 and a can be extracted from data on head and
dt = 4Uo(3aAllP3 + 3AlO'x + 3aAlXO'x + atl4) hydraulic conductivity at the site. From Figure 3 (shallow
(21) piezometers)the hydraulicgradient at the point of injection
is around10-2 andthehydraulicconductivity
in theinjec-
do- tionhorizon(57-58m)isaround10-3 cm/s.Usinga porosity
dt 2u(A22
+tA22'ff
- Otory2) (22)of 0.35, the initial velocity u0 =
,--

0.025 m/d. Downgradient


100 m from the injection site the horizontal hydraulic gradi-
The longitudinalmomentsare seen to grow in responseto entdecreases to 10-3 andtheconductivityin theupperpart
both flow nonuniformity (a) and longitudinaldispersion of the sectionincreasesto 10-1 crn/s,indicating
a tenfold
(,411).Considerthe longitudinalplumevariance.In a uni- increasein the velocity.From (13) this increasecorresponds
form flow (a = 0), (19) with (18) yields (10), where plume to a = 0.1 m-1. Theseestimatedflow parameters
are
variancedepends only on longitudinaldispersivity.How- consistentwith the magnitudeof valuesusedin Figure 15.
ever,even if A l = 0, plumevariancecan still grow due to As seenin Figure 15a, the observed increase with time of
flowacceleration (a > 0) aslongasthe initialvalueof rrx > g andrrx2iscapturedwiththismodel, although thecomputed
0. The lateralplumevarianceis seento growin response to skewnessand kurtosisboth increasemonotonically,unlike
lateraldispersion(A22)butmaydecrease inresponse to flow the observed quantities. The transverse standard deviation
nonuniformity(a). firstdecreases
thenincreases,in qualitativeagreementwith
The effects of flow nonuniformity on longitudinal disper- observations. It is possible that the behavior of the mo-
sionhave been treated theoreticallyby Gelhar and Collins ments,particularlythe higherones,is overlyinfluenced by
[1971].The resultsof thatanalysisshowthatan accelerating the stronggradientin thepresumedvelocity.Althoughhead
large-scaleflow field interacts with dispersivemixing to contourssuggestan acceleratingflow field, it is likely that
produceenhancedlongitudinalspreading.This samefeature the velocitystopsincreasingor even decreasessomewhatafter
isreflected
in(19),whichshows
thattherateofgrowth
ofCrx
2 a certaindistance,
ratherthancontinuing
to increase
linearly.
is increased when a > 0. However,themajorconclusion
of thisexerciseappearsvalid:
Equation (17) was solved for an instantaneoussource thatthe observed
increase
in longitudinal
plumevariancecan
3306 ADAMS
ANDGELHA_R:
FIELDSTUDY
OFDISPERSION
IN A HETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2

this issue]is of the sameorder of magnitudeas that deter-


mined above from the tracer second-moment analysis incor-
rn plumedata poratingthe influenceof large-scaleflow nonuniformity
(5-10m). The centraltendencyof the stochastic
predictionis
somewhatlower (about 1.5 m) but the prediction is quite
uncertain because of the large uncertainty in statistical
parameters
characterizing
the variabilityof hydrauliccon-
, ) ductivityand the preciseorientationof the flow relativeto
40- the bedding.We emphasizethat we do not considerthis
comparisona test of the validity (or nonvalidity)of the
0 stochastictheory.Indeed,furtherrefinementof this compar-
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 isonis probablynotjustifiedbecauseof uncertainties in the
moment estimates and the statistical parameters of the
(a) t (days)
hydraulicconductivity
variations,as well as acknowledged
differencesbetween field conditions and assumptionsunder-
25O00
lyingthe stochastic
theory(smalllog conductivityvariance
and uniform large-scaleflow field).
plume
data / The estimatedlongitudinaldispersivityof 5-10 m is an
order of magnitudelarger than that found in other recent
x2(m
2) comprehensive
tracerteststhatwerecarriedout at a similar
15000 -
scale,includingthe Bordensite, where a value of 0.43 m was
?_5
,/ observed[Freyberg, 1986] and the Cape Cod site, wherea
value of 0.96 m was observed [Garabedian et al., 1991].
Smallerdispersivities
are expectedat the Bordenand Cape
Cod sitesbecausethe aquifers at those sites are much less
heterogeneousthan that of the Columbus site. Figure 17
showsthe resultsof the three recent tracer tests appendedto
40 8O 120 160 the graphicalsummaryof field data on longitudinaldisper-
(b) (m) sivityby Gelharet al. [1985].Note that the Columbusdisper-
sivityis an order of magnitudesmallerthan that of several
Fig. 16. Comparisonof (a) meandisplacement
and(b) longitu- other field siteseven thoughthe Columbussite is very heter-
dinal second moment from the nonuniform flow model (equations
parameters). ogeneous.
(19)and(23))with plumedata(basecaseextrapolation Thesedifferences
suggest
thepossibility
of interpre-
tive problemswith the earlierfielddata suchas the failureto
recognize the effectof large-scale
flow nonuniformity.
becapturedby assuming a nonuniform flowfieldin conjunction The above resultsclearly demonstratethe dramaticinflu-
with a modestlongitudinaldispersivity. enceof large-scaleflownonuniformityon the rate of increase
In Figure 16a the analyticalsolutionof (18), of the longitudinalsecondmoment.Althoughthe individual
first- and second-moment estimates for the plume vary
1 + aAll widely (see Figures12b and 12c) dependingon how the
.... (e aut- 1)
missing massis distributed, (23)
theresultingplot of longitudinal
secondmomentversusmeandisplacement showsonlymod-
is plottedwith (1 + ch.ll)/a = 14 andauo = 0.0045, which est variation(see Figure 12f). Consequently,even though
follows the data quite well. Figure 16b showsthe depen- the sourcesof the missingmass cannot be resolved,the
dence of the second-moment evolution curve on the longi- longitudinal dispersivitycan be estimatedwith reasonable
tudinaldispersivity.The correspondingflow parametersare confidenceto be in the range of 5-10 m.
listed in Table 2. Comparison of the model moment evolu-
tion curves with the data suggeststhat the longitudinal
dispersivityis in the rangeof 5-10 m. This is in contrastwith
10000
a longitudinaldispersivityof around 70 m which would be
estimated,underthe assumptionof uniformflow, using(10). lOOO
One of the goals of the tracer experiment was to evaluate .

stochastictheories under heterogeneousfield conditions. ' lOO


RELIABILITY
._

The longitudinaldispersivitypredictedfrom stochasticthe- .:>


.,,, lO . low
ory [Gelhar and Axness, 1983] usingmeasurementsof the ._ intermediate

spatialvariability of hydraulic conductivity[Rehfeldtet al., [] high


:')' ' - CaCod O recenttests
.1 ;,= Borden
TABLE 2. Flow Parametersfor Figure 16 .01

A!1, m a, m-1 uo,m/d .001 "'


10-1100 101 102 10
3 10
4 105 10
6 10
7 108
2.5 0.087 0.052 scale (m)
5 0.111 0.040
10 0.250 0.018 Fig. 17. Summaryof fielddataon longitudinal
dispersivity
[after
Gelharet al., 1992]andresultsof recentcomprehensivetracer tests.
ADAMS
ANDGELHAR:
FIELD
STUDY
OFDISPERSION
INAHETEROGENEOUS
AQUIFER,
2 3307

SUMMARY
ANDCONCLUSIONS work. Useful suggestionswere provided by Harihar Rajaram of
MIT.
A 20-monthnaturalgradienttracerstudyhasbeenana- REFERENCES
lyzed.The studysite, the ColumbusAir ForceBasein
Aris, R., On the dispersionof a solute in a fluid flowing througha
northeastern
Mississippi,
ischaracterized
bya highdegree tube, Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, 235, 67-78, 1956.
ofheterogeneity
anda large-scale
trendinhydraulic
conduc- Betson,R. P., J. M. Boggs,S.C. Young, W. R. Waldrop, andL. W.
tivityalongthe pathof tracermovement.
The analysis Gelhar, Macrodispersionexperiment(MADE): Design of a field
includes
a graphicalpresentation
of theconcentration
distri- experiment to investigate transport processes in a saturated
bution
at varioustimes,andcalculation
of spatialmoments groundwater zone, Rep. EA-4082, Elec. Power Res. Inst., Palo
Alto, Calif., 1985.
basedon thesedistributions.
The momentsinformationis Boggs,J. M., and E. E. Adams, Field study of dispersionin a
interpreted
by applying
twodifferent
transport
models:
(1) heterogeneous aquifer,4, Investigationof adsorptionand sam-
pureadvectionfrom a continuous
sourcein a uniformflow pling bias, Water Resour. Res., this issue.
field,and(2) advection in a convergingBoggs,J. M.,
anddispersion and S.C. Young, Field evaluationof samplingwells
nonuniform flow field. The advection-dispersion
modelis for macrodispersion experiment,Top.Rep. EN-5816,Elec. Power
Res. Inst., Palo Alto, Calif., 1988.
usedto estimatethelongitudinaldispersivity. Boggs, J. M., S.C. Young, D. J. Benton, and Y. C. Chung,
Themajorconclusions regarding
theinterpretation
of the Hydrogeologiccharacterizationof the MADE site, Top. Rep.
tracerexperimentat the Columbussite are as follows: EN-6915, Elec. Power Res. Inst., Palo Alto, Calif., 1990.
1. The large-scale
accelerating
nonuniform
flowfield, Boggs,M. J., S.C. Young, L. M. Beard, L. W. Gelhar, K. R.
whichis evidentfrom independent
measurement
of headand Rehfeldt, and E. E. Adams, Field study of dispersionin a
heterogeneous
aquifer,1, Overviewand site description,Water
hydraulic
conductivity,
produces
a highlyskewed
plume Resour. Res., this issue.
whoserapidlyadvancing
leadingedgeapparently
wasnot Dagan,G., Solutetransportin heterogeneous
porousformations,J.
capturedby the expandingsamplingnetwork. Fluid Mech., 145, 151-177, 1984.
2. Numericalintegration of theplumeconcentration
data Freyberg,D. L., A naturalgradientexperimenton solutetransport
in a sand aquifer, 2, Spatial moments and the advection and
shows thattracermassrecoverydecreases to about50%, dispersionof nonreactivetracers, Water Resour. Res., 22(13),
reflecting
effectsof plumetruncation,
samplerbias,and/or 2031-2046, 1986.
tracersorptionwhichcannotbe definitively
quantified. Garabedian,S. P., D. R. LeBlanc,L. W. Gelhar,andM. A. Celia,
3. Numericalevaluationof the spatialmomentsof the Large-scale naturalgradienttracertestin sandandgravel,Cape
Cod, Massachusetts, 2, Analysisof spatialmomentsfor a nonre-
plume usingseveral differentassumptionsaboutthemissing activetracer, WaterResour.Res., 27(5), 911-924, 1991.
tracermassshowsthat individualmomentestimates vary Gelhar, L. W., and C. L. Axness, Three-dimensionalstochastic
widely,but the plot of longitudinalsecondmomentversus analysisof macrodispersion in aquifers, Water Resour. Res.,
meandisplacementshowsonly minor variations. 19(1), 161-180, 1983.
4. A simplecontinuous
sourcemodelthat presumes
a Gelhar,L. W., andM. A. Collins,Generalanalysisof longitudinal
dispersion
in nonuniformflow, Water Resour.Res., 7(6), 1511-
constant rate of mass release into a downstream zone of 1521, 1971.
uniform
highvelocityproduces
a plausible
overalldescrip- Gelhar,L. W., A. Mantoglou,C. Welty, and K. R. Rehfeldt,A
tionof the evolutionof the plumemoments. reviewof fieldscalephysicalsolutetransportprocesses
in satu-
5. A two-dimensional nonuniform flow advection- ratedandunsaturated porousmedia,Rep. EA-4190,Elec. Power
Res. Inst., Palo Alto, Calif., 1985.
dispersion
modeladequately
represents
themeandisplace- Gelhar,L. W., C. Welty, and K. R. Rehfeldt,A criticalreviewof
ment of the plume using flow field parametersthat are dataon field-scale
dispersion
in aquifers,WaterResour.Res.,
consistentwith independentestimatesof the flow accelera- 28(7), 1955-1974, 1992.
tionbasedontheheadandhydraulic conductivity
data. Goltz,M. N., andP. V. Roberts,Usingthe methodof momentsto
6. The nonuniform
flow advection-dispersion
modelad- analyzethree-dimensionaldiffusion-limited
solutetransport
from
temporaland spatialperspectives, WaterResour.Res., 23(8),
equatelyrepresentsthe plume second-moment evolution 1575-1585, 1987.
witha longitudinaldispersivity in the rangeof 5-10 m. This LeBlanc,D. R., S. P. Garabedian,
K. M. Hess,L. W. Gelhar,R. D.
rangeis somewhatlargerthan calculations(-1.5 m) based Quadri,K. G. Stollenwerk,andW. W. Wood,Large-scalenatural
onthe stochastictheoryof GelhatandAxness[1983],andan gradienttracertestin sandandgravel,CapeCod,Massachusetts,
orderof magnitudelargerthan values(0.4-1.0 m) foundin 1, Experimental designand observedtracermovement,Water
Resour. Res., 27(5), 895-910, 1991.
otherrecentcomprehensive tracertestsperformed at similar Rajaram,
H., andL. W. Gelhar,Three-dimensional
spatial
moments
scalebut with lessheterogeneity. analysis
of the Bordentracertest, WaterResour.Res.,27(6),
1239-1251, 1991.
7. If flownonunformity is ignored,theindicated disper-
sivity(equation(10))is an orderof magnitude larger(50-75 Rehfeldt,
K. R., L. W.Gelhar,
J. B. Southard,
andA.M. Dasinger,
Estimatesof macrodispersivity
basedon analysisof hydraulic
m). While suchhighvaluesof dispersivitycan be usedto conductivity
variability
at the MADE site,Rep.EN-6405,Elec.
matchthe longitudinalevolutionof plumevariance,theywill PowerRes. Inst., Palo Alto, Calif., 1989.
overestimateplume dilution.To properlyaccountfor both Rehfeldt,
K. R., J. M. Boggs,
andL. W. Gelhar,Fieldstudyof
plume spreadingand dilution at this site, one needsto dispersion
ina heterogeneous
aquifer,
3, Geostatistical
analysis
of
hydraulicconductivity,
WaterResour.Res., this issue.
recognizethe essentialnonuniformityof the large-scaleflow.
Sudicky,E. A., A natural
gradient
experiment onsolute
transport
in
a sandy aquifer:Spatial
variability
of hydraulic
conductivity
and
its rolein thedispersionprocess,WaterResour. Res.,22(13),
Acknowledgments.The work was supportedin part by the 2069-2082, 1986.
ElectricPowerResearch
Institute(EPRI), Project2485-5,which
was a joint effort of the Massachusetts
Instituteof Technology E. E. Adams
andL. W.Gelhar,
Department
ofCivilEngineering,
(MIT) andtheTennessee
ValleyAuthority(TVA). Thisportionof Massachusetts
Institute
of Technology,
Cambridge,
MA 02139.
the work was done at MIT under contract TV-6!664A with TVA.
Theworkwasalsosupported
by theNationalScience
Foundation, (ReceivedApril 8, 1991;
grantCES-8814615.We acknowledgethe cooperationof J. Mark revisedJuly 8, 1992;
Boggs
of TVA; his effortswereinstrumental
at all stagesof the acceptedJuly 23, 1992.)