Stochastic modeling of solute transport in aquifers: From heterogeneity characterization to risk analysis

A. Fiori*, A. Bellin, V. Cvetkovic, F. P.J. De Barros, G. Dagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article presents a few recent developments advanced by the authors in a few key areas of stochastic modeling of solute transport in heterogeneous aquifers. First, a brief review of the Lagrangian approach to modeling plumes longitudinal mass distribution and temporal (the breakthrough curve) mass arrival, is presented. Subsequently, transport in highly heterogeneous aquifers is analyzed by using a recently developed predictive model. It relates the non-Gaussian BTC to the permeability univariate pdf and integral scale, with application to the MADE field observations. Next, the approach is extended to transport of reactive solute, combinnig the effects of the random velocity field and multirate mass transfer on the BTC, with application to mass attenuation. The following topic is modeling of the local concentration field as affected by mixing and dilution due to pore scale dispersion. The results are applied to the analysis of concentration measurements at the Cape Cod field experiment. The last section incorporates the results of the preceding ones in health risk assessment by analyzing the impact of concentration prediction on risk uncertainty. It is illustrated by assessing the effect of identification of macrodispersivity from field characterization and transport modeling, upon the probability of health risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6622-6648
Number of pages27
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • dilution
  • health risk analysis
  • heterogeneous aquifers
  • reactive solutes
  • solute transport


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