Rates of salinization by free convection in high-permeablility sediments: insights from numerical modeling and application tot the Dutch coastal area.

V.E.A. Post, H. Kooi

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic

    Abstract

    Numerical modeling and dimensional analysis is used to study the salinization of thick, high-permeability aquifers by free convection from a salt source at the surface. Current understanding of this process mainly concerns the initial stages of salinization only (boundary-layer development, break-up into fingers and initial phase of finger descent). In the modeling, special attention is paid to the role of two processes in the long-term salinization rate: (1) the progressive loss of salt from fingers by lateral diffusion, and (2) the coalescence of fingers during their descent. From the numerical simulations a relationship is derived that describes the development of the horizontally averaged salinity with depth and time as a function of permeability and initial-density contrast for aquifer Rayleigh numbers up to Ra =6,000. This relationship is consistent with and provides an extension to previous generalized relationships of the rate of finger descent. Its applicability to real-world aquifers (Ra >10
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)549-559
    Number of pages10
    JournalHydrogeology Journal
    Volume11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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