Abstract

A complex pattern of coupling between fluid flow and mass transport develops when heterogeneous reactions occur. For instance, dissolution and precipitation reactions can change a porous medium's physical properties, such as pore geometry and thus permeability. These changes influence fluid flow, which in turn impacts the composition of dissolved constituents and the solid phases, and the rate and direction of advective transport. Two-dimensional modeling studies using TOUGHREACT were conducted to investigate the coupling between flow and transport developed as a consequence of differences in density, dissolution–precipitation, and medium heterogeneity. The model includes equilibrium reactions for aqueous species, kinetic reactions between the solid phases and aqueous constituents, and full coupling of porosity and permeability changes resulting from precipitation and dissolution reactions in porous media. In addition, a new permeability relationship is implemented in TOUGHREACT to examine the effects of geochemical reactions and density difference on plume migration in porous media. Generally, the evolutions in the concentrations of the aqueous phase are intimately related to the reaction-front dynamics. Plugging of the medium contributed to significant transients in patterns of flow and mass transport.

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