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Investigating the impact of exit effects on solute transport in macropored porous media

  • Raimbault, Jérôme
  • Peyneau, Pierre-Emmanuel
  • Courtier-Murias, Denis
  • Bigot, Thomas
  • Gil Roca, Jaime
  • Béchet, Béatrice
  • Lassabatère, Laurent
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
DOI: 10.5194/hess-2020-494
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-03152257v1
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The effect of macropore flow on solute transport has spurred much research over the last forty years. In this study, non-reactive solute transport in columns filled by macropored porous media was experimentally and numerically investigated, and the emphasis was put on the study of exit effects, whose very existence is inherent to the finite size of any experimental column. We specifically investigated the impact of the presence of a filter at the column outlet on water flow and solute transport in macropored systems. Experiments involving breakthrough measurements and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that solute transport displayed some significant non-unidirectional features, with a strong mass exchange at the interface between the macropore and the matrix. Fluid dynamics and transport simulations indicated that this was due to the non-unidirectional nature of the flow field close to the outlet filter. The flow near the exit of the column was shown to be strongly impacted by the presence of the outlet filter, which acts as a barrier and redistributes water from the macropore to the matrix. This impact was apparent on the breakthrough curves and the MRI images. It was also confirmed by computer simulations and could, if not properly taken into account, impede the accurate inference of the transport properties of macropored porous media from breakthrough experiments.

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