Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 65–85 | Cite as

Approximate analytical solutions for solute transport in two-layer porous media

  • F. J. Leij
  • M. Th. Van Genuchten


Mathematical models for transport in layered media are important for investigating how restricting layers affect rates of solute migration in soil profiles; they may also improve the analysis of solute displacement experiments. This study reports an (approximate) analytical solution for solute transport during steady-state flow in a two-layer medium requiring continuity of solute fluxes and resident concentrations at the interface. The solutions were derived with Laplace transformations making use of the binomial theorem. Results based on this solution were found to be in relatively good agreement with those obtained using numerical inversion of the Laplace transform. An expression for the flux-averaged concentration in the second layer was also obtained. Zero- and first-order approximations for the solute distribution in the second layer were derived for a thin first layer representing a water film or crust on top of the medium. These thin-layer approximations did not perform as well as the ‘binomial’ solution, except for the first-order approximation when the Peclet number,P, of the first layer, was low (P<5). Results of this study indicate that the ordering of two layers will affect the predicted breakthrough curves at the outlet of the medium. The two-layer solution was used to illustrate the effects of dispersion in the inlet or outlet reservoirs using previously published data on apparatus-induced dispersion.

Key words

Solute transport composite media boundary conditions 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. J. Leij
    • 1
  • M. Th. Van Genuchten
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Salinity LaboratoryUSDA-ARSRiversideUSA

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