A model of isotope transport in the unsaturated zone, case study
Keywords:Richards' equation, unsaturated zone, groundwater flow in unsaturated zone, solute transport
This work deals with a groundwater flow and solute transport model in the near-surface (predominantly unsaturated) zone. The model is implemented so that it allows simulations of contamination transport from a source located in a geological environment of a rock massif. The groundwater flow model is based on Richards’ equation. Evaporation is computed using the Hamon model. The transport model is able to simulate advection, diffusion, sorption and radioactive decay. Besides the basic model concept, the article also discusses potential cases that could lead to non-physical solutions. On three selected examples, which include, for example, rapidly changing boundary conditions, the article shows the solvability of such cases with the proposed model without unwanted effects, such as negative concentrations or oscillations of solution, that do not correspond to inputs.
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