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But dispersion has no clothes!

AuthorsCarrera, Jesús
Issue Date4-Mar-2015
AbstractSolute transport is an essential ingredient of hydrology, both surface and subsurface, as well as many other natural sciences. Understanding solute transport is essential for assessing the fate of pollutants, how they spread in the environment and how they react. Transport is also required for understanding energy transfer, identifying the origin of water and, in general, for quantifying the water cycle. Transport has been traditionally represented by the Advection-Dispersion-Equation. I review its origins and limitations, especially in ground water. The truth is that dispersion does occur, but the way we represent it, using Fick¿s Law, fails to reproduce observations, grows with scale and, worst of all, overestimates mixing, which controls chemical reactions. In short, our representation of dispersion is good for nothing. Efforts have been made to seek alternative equations. I will also review them, but they have failed to become workable approaches. The conclusion is that, for the time being, we will keep working with the current dispersion approach. But, better beware; it is no emperor, just a poor Cinderella.
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Comunicaciones congresos
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