We address advective transport of a solute traveling toward a single pumping well in a two-dimensional randomly heterogeneous aquifer. The two random variables of interest are the trajectory followed by an individual particle from the injection point to the well location and the particle travel time under steady-state conditions. Our main objective is to derive the predictors of trajectory and travel time and the associated uncertainty, in terms of their first two statistical moments (mean and variance). We consider a solute that undergoes mass transfer between a mobile and an immobile zone. Based on Lawrence et al. [Lawrence, A.E., Sánchez-Vila, X., Rubin, Y., 2002. Conditional moments of the breakthrough curves of kinetically sorbing solute in heterogeneous porous media using multirate mass transfer models for sorption and desorption. Water Resour. Res. 38 (11), 1248, doi:10.1029/2001WR001006.], travel time moments can be written in terms of those of a conservative solute times a deterministic quantity. Moreover, the moments of solute particles trajectory do not depend on mass transfer processes. The resulting mean and variance of travel time and trajectory for a conservative species can be written as functions of the first, second moments and cross-moments of trajectory and velocity components. The equations are developed from a consistent second order expansion in σY (standard deviation of the natural logarithm of hydraulic conductivity). Our solution can be completely integrated with the moment equations of groundwater flow of Guadagnini and Neuman [Guadagnini, A., Neuman, S.P., 1999a. Nonlocal and localized analyses of conditional mean steady state flow in bounded, randomly non uniform domains 1. Theory and computational approach. Water Resour. Res. 35(10), 2999–3018.,Guadagnini, A., Neuman, S.P., 1999b. Nonlocal and localized analyses of conditional mean steady state flow in bounded, randomly non uniform domains 2. Computational examples. Water Resour. Res. 35(10), 3019–3039.], it is free of distributional assumptions regarding the log conductivity field, and formally includes conditioning. We present analytical expressions for the unconditional case by making use of the results of Riva et al. [Riva, M., Guadagnini, A., Neuman, S.P., Franzetti, S., 2001. Radial flow in a bounded randomly heterogeneous aquifer. Transport in Porous Media 45, 139–193.]. The quality of the solution is supported by numerical Monte Carlo simulations. Potential uses of this work include the determination of aquifer reclamation time by means of a single pumping well, and the demarcation of the region potentially affected by the presence of a contaminant in the proximity of a well, whenever the aquifer is very thin and Dupuit–Forchheimer assumption holds.

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Published on 01/01/2006

DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2005.06.014

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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