The effect of non divergence-free velocity fields on field scale ground water solute transport
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Solute plume subjected to field scale hydraulic conductivity heterogeneity shows a large dispersion/macrodispersion, which is the manifestation of existing fields scale heterogeneity on the solute plume. On the other hand, due to the scarcity of hydraulic conductivity measurements at field scale, hydraulic conductivity heterogeneity can only be defined statistically, which makes the hydraulic conductivity a random variable/function. Random hydraulic conductivity as a parameter in flow equation makes the pore flow velocity also random and the ground water solute transport equation is a stochastic differential equation now. In this study, the ensemble average of stochastic ground water solute transport equation is taken by the cumulant expansion method in order to upscale the laboratory scale transport equation to field scale by assuming pore flow velocity is a non stationary, non divergence-free and unsteady random function of space and time. Besides the stochastic explanation of macrodispersion and the velocity correction term obtained by Kavvas and Karakas (J Hydrol 179:321-351, 1996) before a new velocity correction term, which is a function of mean pore flow velocity divergence, is obtained in this study due to strict second order cumulant expansion (without omitting any term after the expansion) performed. The significance of the new velocity correction term is investigated on a one dimensional transport problem driven by a density dependent flow field.