AuthorChaoka, Thebeyame Ron
AdvisorYeh, Tian-Chyi J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe migration of tritium during a large-scale natural-gradient tracer experiment in Columbus, Mississippi, was simulated using a three-dimensional finite element model for water flow and transport. The results showed that modeling approaches that assume complete homogeneity of the aquifer or of hydrostratigraphic units within the aquifer failed to reproduce the temporal evolution of the first and second spatial moments of the experimental plume. In contrast, the simulation approach that accounted for aquifer heterogeneity gave first spatial moment estimates that were in good overall agreement with experimental results, but failed to simulate the second spatial moments of the tritium plume. The discrepancy between the experimental and simulated second spatial moments may be caused by the temporal and spatial variability of the actual boundary conditions which were not accounted for in the simulations. The failure of homogeneous approaches to simulate the evolution of the tritium plume raises serious questions about the utility of upscaled effective hydraulic properties for forecasting flow and solute transport in aquifers.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Hydrology and Water Resources