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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 25 No. 1, p. 1-5
    Received: Apr 7, 1960
    Accepted: June 2, 1960

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Miscible Displacement in Soils: I. Experimental Information1

  1. D. R. Nielsen and
  2. J. W. Biggar2



When a fluid containing a tracer in solution is displaced from a porous medium by the same fluid without a tracer, this miscible displacement results in a tracer concentration distribution which depends upon microscopic flow velocities, tracer diffusion rates and other chemical and physical processes. Miscible displacement has been studied in several porous materials under saturated and unsaturated conditions at different average flow velocities. The tracer appeared at the end of the soil column well in advance of that expected had no mixing occurred at the boundary of the tracer and tracer-free water. Physical differences between porous materials were manifested by changes in shape and position of breakthrough curves owing to ionic diffusion. One of the more important physical features was the magnitude of the volume of water not readily displaced at saturation and its increase when the soil was desaturated. Because the total flux of water moving through field soils is generally small, the role played by hydrodynamic dispersion and diffusion in transporting dissolved solutes must be included in the theory of most soil-water processes.

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