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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-1—SOIL PHYSICS

Anomalous Transport in “Classical” Soil and Sand Columns


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 68 No. 5, p. 1539-1548
    Received: Sept 25, 2003

    * Corresponding author(s): brian.berkowitz@weizmann.ac.il
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  1. Andrea Cortis and
  2. Brian Berkowitz *
  1. Dep. of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel


We re-examine—in light of recent theoretical developments—classical experiments on dispersion of a passive tracer in fully and partially saturated porous columns. We find that the dispersion breakthrough curves (BTCs) exhibit anomalous (non-Fickian) early arrival times and late time tailing, which can be explained by the Continuous Time Random Walk (CTRW) theory. The CTRW framework includes as a special case the classical advection-dispersion equation (ADE) for Fickian transport. We argue that existing measurements and interpretations of dispersion should be carefully reconsidered in the framework of these advances in conceptual understanding and quantification.

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