Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 307–321 | Cite as

Investigation of Groundwater Contaminant Discharge into Tidally Influenced Surface-Water Bodies: Experimental Results

  • Hua ChenEmail author
  • George F. Pinder


An investigation of the effect of tidally influenced water elevations on the concentration of groundwater contaminants discharging to a surface-water body is studied using a one-dimensional homogeneous sand column. A constant water level is imposed upstream, and the downstream water level is controlled by a wave generator that controls the hydraulic head to mimic a 12-h tidal fluctuation. The experimental results demonstrate that the tidal fluctuations in the downstream reservoir result in a decrease in average contaminant concentration at the point of discharge to the tidally influenced surface-water body. The further upstream an observation well is located, the smaller the amplitude of the concentration oscillation. Fourier analysis suggests that the dominant frequency of the pressure at different locations along the length of the column is identically two cycles per day and that the concentration data have a dominant frequency of two cycles per day, but also exhibit harmonics.


Tidal fluctuation Concentration oscillation Groundwater transport 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HydroGeoLogic, IncRestonUSA
  2. 2.School of EngineeringThe University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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