Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 89, Issue 3, pp 289–306 | Cite as

Investigation of Groundwater Contaminant Discharge into Tidally influenced Surface-water Bodies: Theoretical Analysis

  • Hua ChenEmail author
  • George F. Pinder


Data from an one-dimensional homogeneous sand column, which is utilized to investigate the effect of tides on the concentration of groundwater contaminants discharging to a surface-water body, demonstrate that the tidal fluctuations in water level elevation create concentration oscillations upgradient of the groundwater discharge locations and there is a resulting decrease in average contaminant concentration at the point of groundwater discharge to a surface-water body. The further upgradient an observation point is located, the smaller the amplitude of the tidally induced concentration oscillations. In addition, an excessive upstream migration of concentration oscillations is observed although there is a net downgradient flow. As the classical groundwater flow and transport model could not reproduce this phenomena, a multi-mobility model is proposed with one highly mobile liquid phase, one less mobile liquid phase and a solid phase. Averaging theory is applied in a first step to develop the macroscopic mass conservation equation from its microscale counterpart and then, in a second step, averaging is again used to reduce dimensionality to one-dimensional governing equations defined along the axis of the column. The simulation confirms the existence of an enhanced tidally induced mixing process and the suitability of our mathematical-physical representation of it.


Averaging theory Tidal fluctuation Reduction of dimensionality Mass transfer Tidal mixing process 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydrogeologic, Inc.RestonUSA
  2. 2.School of EngineeringThe University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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