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Upscaled conductivity in gravity-dominated flow through variably saturated heterogeneous formations
Year:
2003
Source of publication :
Water Resources Research
Authors :
Russo, David
;
.
Volume :
39
Co-Authors:
Russo, D., Dept. of Environ. Phys. and Irrigat., Inst. Soils, Water and Environ. Sci., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, Dept. of Environ. Phys. and Irrigat., Inst. Soils, Water and Environ. Sci., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
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Total pages:
1
)
Abstract:
We investigated effects of a few characteristics of a heterogeneous, unsaturated formation on the vertical (Kv) and horizontal (K h) components of the upscaled conductivity tensor, under conditions of steady state, gravity-dominated, unsaturated flow, using Gardner's [1958] two-parameter (Ks, α) model for the local unsaturated conductivity. Results suggest that relatively large averaging domains are required in order to obtain asymptotic, effective conductivities devoid of the domain size. This is particularly so in relatively dry, stratified, fine-textured (with appreciable capillary forces) formations and when (1) the variability in the soil parameter α is not small compared with the variability in saturated conductivity, Ks (ζ ≫ 0); (2) the fluctuations of logα are negatively correlated with those of logK s (rfa < 0); and (3) the correlation length scale of logα is small compared to that of logKs (υ < 1). Larger averaging domains are required in order to ignore the uncertainty about the upscaled log conductivities, particularly in stratified, coarse-textured formations, and when υ > 1. Findings of this study suggest that the asymptotic Kv diminishes in dry, stratified, coarse-textured formations and when ζ ≫ 0; for the physically plausible situation in which rfa > 0, however, the diminishing of the asymptotic K v is balanced by increasing rfa. On the other hand, the increase in the asymptotic Kh, and, concurrently, in the effective anisotropy ratio, due to increasing stratification and decreasing water saturation, is balanced by decreasing capillary forces, as well as by decreasing ζ and increasing (positive) rfa, and to a lesser extent, by increasing υ. Application of the results of this study for assessment of (1) the minimal domain size for which the concept of effective properties is appropriate; and (2) the maximal size of conductivity cells which preserve the heterogeneous structure of the underlying formation with respect to simulation of flow and transport in the vadose zone, are briefly discussed.
Note:
Related Files :
1875 Hydrology: Unsaturated zone
thermal stratification
Upscaled conductivity
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DOI :
Article number:
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Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
19378
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
16/04/2018 23:28
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Scientific Publication
Upscaled conductivity in gravity-dominated flow through variably saturated heterogeneous formations
39
Russo, D., Dept. of Environ. Phys. and Irrigat., Inst. Soils, Water and Environ. Sci., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, Dept. of Environ. Phys. and Irrigat., Inst. Soils, Water and Environ. Sci., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Upscaled conductivity in gravity-dominated flow through variably saturated heterogeneous formations
We investigated effects of a few characteristics of a heterogeneous, unsaturated formation on the vertical (Kv) and horizontal (K h) components of the upscaled conductivity tensor, under conditions of steady state, gravity-dominated, unsaturated flow, using Gardner's [1958] two-parameter (Ks, α) model for the local unsaturated conductivity. Results suggest that relatively large averaging domains are required in order to obtain asymptotic, effective conductivities devoid of the domain size. This is particularly so in relatively dry, stratified, fine-textured (with appreciable capillary forces) formations and when (1) the variability in the soil parameter α is not small compared with the variability in saturated conductivity, Ks (ζ ≫ 0); (2) the fluctuations of logα are negatively correlated with those of logK s (rfa < 0); and (3) the correlation length scale of logα is small compared to that of logKs (υ < 1). Larger averaging domains are required in order to ignore the uncertainty about the upscaled log conductivities, particularly in stratified, coarse-textured formations, and when υ > 1. Findings of this study suggest that the asymptotic Kv diminishes in dry, stratified, coarse-textured formations and when ζ ≫ 0; for the physically plausible situation in which rfa > 0, however, the diminishing of the asymptotic K v is balanced by increasing rfa. On the other hand, the increase in the asymptotic Kh, and, concurrently, in the effective anisotropy ratio, due to increasing stratification and decreasing water saturation, is balanced by decreasing capillary forces, as well as by decreasing ζ and increasing (positive) rfa, and to a lesser extent, by increasing υ. Application of the results of this study for assessment of (1) the minimal domain size for which the concept of effective properties is appropriate; and (2) the maximal size of conductivity cells which preserve the heterogeneous structure of the underlying formation with respect to simulation of flow and transport in the vadose zone, are briefly discussed.
Scientific Publication
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