Matheron and de Marsily [Matheron M, de Marsily G. Is the transport in porous media always diffusive? A counter-example. Water Resour Res 1980;16:901–17] studied transport in a perfectly stratified infinite medium as an idealized aquifer model. They observed superdiffusive solute spreading quantified by anomalous increase of the apparent longitudinal dispersion coefficient with the square root of time. Here, we investigate solute transport in a vertically bounded stratified random medium. Unlike for the infinite medium at asymptotically long times, disorder-induced mixing and spreading is uniquely quantified by a constant Taylor dispersion coefficient. Using a stochastic modeling approach we study the effective mixing and spreading dynamics at pre-asymptotic times in terms of effective average transport coefficients. The latter are defined on the basis of local moments, i.e., moments of the transport Green function. We investigate the impact of the position of the initial plume and the initial plume size on the (highly anomalous) pre-asymptotic effective spreading and mixing dynamics for single realizations and in average. Effectively, the system “remembers” its initial state, the effective transport coefficients show so-called memory effects, which disappear after the solute has sampled the full vertical extent of the medium. We study the impact of the intrinsic non-ergodicity of the confined medium on the validity of the stochastic modeling approach and study in this context the transition from the finite to the infinite medium

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Published on 01/01/2008

DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2008.05.003
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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