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Reactive transport of chemicals in unsaturated soils: numerical model development and verification

Sedighi, Majid, Thomas, Hywel R. ORCID: and Vardon, Philip J. 2016. Reactive transport of chemicals in unsaturated soils: numerical model development and verification. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 53 (1) , pp. 162-172. 10.1139/cgj-2014-0436

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This paper presents the development of a numerical model for reactive transport of multicomponent chemicals in unsaturated soils. The model has been developed based on a coupled thermal, hydraulic, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) formulation, and extended by the inclusion of geochemical processes under mixed equilibrium and kinetically controlled reactions in–between the solid, aqueous, and gas phases in soil. This has been achieved by coupling the transport model, COMPASS, with the geochemical model, PHREEQC. Key coupling between the geochemical modelling and the flow of chemicals has been established via the inclusion of porosity modification from mineral precipitation–dissolution reactions and the consequential effects on flow processes. Verification of the developed model is addressed via a series of benchmark simulations with a focus on testing the coupling between the transport model and geochemical model. Good results have been achieved for the verification of the theoretical and numerical implementation of the new developments in the model. A simulation is presented to demonstrate the effects of mineral reactions on porosity evolution and chemical diffusion in a low porosity soil. The model developed is an advanced tool for studying the hydrogeochemical processes in unsaturated soils under variable THCM conditions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing)
ISSN: 0008-3674
Date of Acceptance: 23 June 2015
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 10:51

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