The dynamics of NAPL dissolution into saturated porous media are typically modeled by the inclusion of a reaction term in the advection-dispersion-reaction equation (ADRE) with the reaction rate defined by a Sherwood-Gilland empirical model. This stipulates, among other things, that the dissolution rate is proportional to a power of the NAPL volume fraction, and also to the difference between the local average aqueous concentration of the NAPL species and its thermodynamic saturation concentration. Solute source models of these sorts are ad hoc and empirically calibrated but have come to see widespread use in contaminant hydrogeology. In parallel, a number of authors have employed the method of volume averaging to derive upscaled transport equations describing the same dissolution and transport phenomena. However, these solutions typically yield forms of equations that are seemingly incompatible with Sherwood-Gilland source models. In this paper, we revisit the compatibility of the two approaches using a radically simplified alternative volume averaging analysis. We begin from a classic micro-scale formulation of the NAPL dissolution problem but develop some new simplification approaches (including a physics-preserving transformation of the domain and a new geometric lemma) which allow us to avoid solving traditional closure boundary value problems. We arrive at a general, volume-averaged governing equation that does not reduce to the ADRE with a Sherwood-Gilland source but find that the two approaches do align under straightforward advection-dominated conditions.
- Mass transfer
- Volume averaging
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology