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From conservative to reactive transport under diffusion-controlled conditions

Abstract : We assess the possibility to use conservative transport information, such as that contained in transit time distributions, breakthrough curves and tracer tests, to predict non-linear fluid-rock interactions in fracture/matrix or mobile/immobile conditions. Reference simulated data are given by conservative and reactive transport simulations in several diffusive porosity structures differing by their topological organization. Reactions includes non-linear kinetically-controlled dissolution and desorption. Effective Multi-Rate Mass Transfer models (MRMT) are calibrated solely on conservative transport information without pore topology information and provide concentration distributions on which effective reaction rates are estimated. Reference simulated reaction rates and effective reaction rates evaluated by MRMT are compared, as well as characteristic desorption and dissolution times. Although not exactly equal, these indicators remain very close whatever the porous structure, differing at most by 0.6% and 10% for desorption and dissolution. At shorter times, this close agreement arises from the fine characterization of the diffusive porosity close to the mobile zone that controls fast mobile-diffusive exchanges. At intermediate to larger times, concentration gradients are strongly reduced by diffusion, and reactivity can be captured by a very limited number of rates. We conclude that effective models calibrated solely on conservative transport information like MRMT can accurately estimate monocomponent kinetically- controlled non-linear fluid-rock interactions. Their relevance might extend to more advanced biogeochemical reactions because of the close representation of conservative concentration distributions, even by parsimonious models (e.g., MRMT with 3-5 rates). We propose a methodology to estimate reactive transport from conservative transport in mobile-immobile conditions.
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Tristan Babey, Jean-Raynald De Dreuzy, Timothy Ginn. From conservative to reactive transport under diffusion-controlled conditions . Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union, 2016, 52 (3), pp.3685-3700. ⟨10.1002/2015WR018294⟩. ⟨insu-01308667⟩

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