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Estimation of porosity and hydraulic conductivity from X-ray CT-measured solute breakthrough

By
S. H. Anderson
S. H. Anderson
Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences, 302 ABNR Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA (e-mail: andersons@missouri.edu)
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H. Wang
H. Wang
Collins Engineers, 300 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 600, Chicago, Illinois 60606, USA
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R. L. Peyton
R. L. Peyton
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, E2509 Eng. Building East, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA
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C. J. Gantzer
C. J. Gantzer
Department of Soil and Atmospheric Sciences, 302 ABNR Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA (e-mail: andersons@missouri.edu)
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Published:
January 01, 2003

Abstract

Heterogeneities are common in natural porous media and are present on different scales. Use of X-ray computed tomography (CT) may provide a tool for quantifying small-scale heterogeneities in porosity and hydraulic conductivity in porous media. Porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity distributions were estimated using CT for a series of undisturbed soil core samples taken from a field site. CT measurements were collected during breakthrough experiments using an iodide tracer. Techniques were developed to estimate porosity and hydraulic conductivity from solute breakthrough data. Results were compared with bulk sample measurements. CT-measured porosity compared well with laboratory-measured porosity. Hydraulic conductivity estimated from CT methods slightly overestimated laboratory-measured values. These techniques provide a method to quantify the spatially variable porosity and hydraulic conductivity on a millimetre scale rather than on a core-averaged scale. Chemical transport through the soil was predicted using a finite element method for each core using the CT-measured soil properties. Comparisons between measured and predicted chemical transport suggest that small-scale heterogeneities cause departures between measured and simulated solute breakthrough curves, and that a smaller grid size may be needed to improve the simulation.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences

F. Mees
F. Mees
Ghent University, Belgium
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R. Swennen
R. Swennen
Physico-chemical Geology, K. U. Leuven, Belgium
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M. Van Geet
M. Van Geet
SCK-CEN, Belgium
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P. Jacobs
P. Jacobs
Ghent University, Belgium
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Geological Society of London
Volume
215
ISBN electronic:
9781862394636
Publication date:
January 01, 2003

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