Upscaling of Long-Term U9VI) Desorption from Pore Scale Kinetics to Field-Scale Reactive Transport Models

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Environmental systems exhibit a range of complexities which exist at a range of length and mass scales. Within the realm of radionuclide fate and transport, much work has been focused on understanding pore scale processes where complexity can be reduced to a simplified system. In describing larger scale behavior, the results from these simplified systems must be combined to create a theory of the whole. This process can be quite complex, and lead to models which lack transparency. The underlying assumption of this approach is that complex systems will exhibit complex behavior, requiring a complex system of equations to describe ... continued below

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Miller, Andy January 25, 2009.

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Environmental systems exhibit a range of complexities which exist at a range of length and mass scales. Within the realm of radionuclide fate and transport, much work has been focused on understanding pore scale processes where complexity can be reduced to a simplified system. In describing larger scale behavior, the results from these simplified systems must be combined to create a theory of the whole. This process can be quite complex, and lead to models which lack transparency. The underlying assumption of this approach is that complex systems will exhibit complex behavior, requiring a complex system of equations to describe behavior. This assumption has never been tested. The goal of the experiments presented is to ask the question: Do increasingly complex systems show increasingly complex behavior? Three experimental tanks at the intermediate scale (Tank 1: 2.4m x 1.2m x 7.6cm, Tank 2: 2.4m x 0.61m x 7.6cm, Tank 3: 2.4m x 0.61m x 0.61m (LxHxW)) have been completed. These tanks were packed with various physical orientations of different particle sizes of a uranium contaminated sediment from a former uranium mill near Naturita, Colorado. Steady state water flow was induced across the tanks using constant head boundaries. Pore water was removed from within the flow domain through sampling ports/wells; effluent samples were also taken. Each sample was analyzed for a variety of analytes relating to the solubility and transport of uranium. Flow fields were characterized using inert tracers and direct measurements of pressure head. The results show that although there is a wide range of chemical variability within the flow domain of the tank, the effluent uranium behavior is simple enough to be described using a variety of conceptual models. Thus, although there is a wide range in variability caused by pore scale behaviors, these behaviors appear to be smoothed out as uranium is transported through the tank. This smoothing of uranium transport behavior transcends many of the physical and chemical heterogeneities added to the tank experiments.

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  • Report No.: ER64233- Final Report
  • Grant Number: FG02-06ER64233
  • DOI: 10.2172/1042469 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1042469
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837089

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  • January 25, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 1:20 p.m.

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Miller, Andy. Upscaling of Long-Term U9VI) Desorption from Pore Scale Kinetics to Field-Scale Reactive Transport Models, report, January 25, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837089/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.