Estimating solute dispersion coefficients in porous media at low pore water velocities

Lorenzo Pugliese*, Tjalfe G. Poulsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship between solute dispersion coefficient (Dmech) and porewater velocity during chloride transport in porous media with different particle characteristics at low porewater velocities (u< 1 cmmin-1), relevant for groundwater flowconditions,was investigated.Data for 29 porous media with very different particle shapes (ranging from almost spherical to very angular) and particle sizes (0.088-12mm) at different velocities (340 breakthrough curves) were used in the analyses. The analysis showed that Dmech at low u is significantly different from that at higher u. Whereas the u - Dmech relationship generally can be assumed linear at higher u (based on observations in earlier studies), the data presented in this study clearly show that this is not the case at low u. The results further indicated that Dmech at low u is strongly related to porous medium particle shape and to some degree also to medium particle size range and mean particle diameter. As the current knowledge about dispersion at low u and its dependency on porous medium properties is very limited, the results obtained in this study represent a significant addition to this understanding. A set of expressions for predicting Dmech at low u from medium properties was developed. These expressions yield good accuracy across all 29 media, thus providing a means for predicting dispersion at low u across a very wide range of media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-181
Number of pages7
JournalSoil Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Dispersion
  • Low porewater velocities
  • Particle size and shape
  • Porous media
  • Solute transport


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