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Mobilization and preferential transport of soil particles during infiltration: A core-scale modeling approach

Abstract : Understanding particle movement in soils is a major concern for both geotechnics and soil physics with regard to environmental protection and water resources management. This paper describes a model for mobilization and preferential transport of soil particles through structured soils. The approach combines a kinematic-dispersive wave model for preferential water flow with a convective-dispersive equation subject to a source/sink term for particle transport and mobilization. Particle detachment from macropore walls is considered during both the steady and transient water flow regimes. It is assumed to follow first-order kinetics with a varying detachment efficiency, which depends on the history of the detachment process. Estimates of model parameters are obtained by comparing simulations with experimental particle breakthrough curves obtained during infiltrations through undisturbed soil columns. Both water flux and particle concentrations are satisfactorily simulated by the model. Particle mobilization parameters favoring both attachment and detachment of particles are related to the incoming solution ionic strength by a Fermi-type function.
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Samer Majdalani, Eric Michel, Liliana Di Pietro, Rafaël Angulo-Jaramillo, Marine Rousseau. Mobilization and preferential transport of soil particles during infiltration: A core-scale modeling approach. Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union, 2007, 43 (5), pp.W05401. ⟨10.1029/2006WR005057⟩. ⟨insu-00386980⟩

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