A Comparative Study of Three-Dimensional Hydraulic Conductivity Upscaling at the MAcro-Dispersion Experiment (MADE) site, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi (USA)

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Hydrology


Simple averaging, simple-Laplacian, Laplacian-with-skin, and non-uniform coarsening are the techniques investigated in this comparative study of three-dimensional hydraulic conductivity upscaling. The reference is a fine scale conditional realization of the hydraulic conductivities at the MAcro-Dispersion Experiment site on Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi (USA). This realization was generated using a hole-effect variogram model and it was shown that flow and transport modeling in this realization (at this scale) can reproduce the observed non-Fickian spreading of the tritium plume. The purpose of this work is twofold, first to compare the effectiveness of different upscaling techniques in yielding upscaled models able to reproduce the observed transport behavior, and second to demonstrate and analyze the conditions under which flow upscaling can provide a coarse model in which the standard advection-dispersion equation can be used to model transport in seemingly non-Fickian scenarios. Specifically, the use of Laplacian-based upscaling technique coupled with a non-uniform coarsening scheme yields the best results both in terms of flow and transport reproduction, for this case study in which the coarse blocks are smaller than the correlation ranges of the fine scale conductivities. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.