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Preferential pathways for fluid and solutes in heterogeneous groundwater systems: Self-organization, entropy, work

Zehe, Erwin; Loritz, Ralf; Edery, Yaniv; Berkowitz, Brian

Patterns of distinct preferential pathways for fluid flow and solute transport are ubiquitous in heterogeneous, saturated and partially saturated porous media. Yet, the underlying reasons for their emergence, and their characterization and quantification, remain enigmatic. Here we analyze simulations of steady-state fluid flow and solute transport in two-dimensional, heterogeneous saturated porous media with a relatively short correlation length. We demonstrate that the downstream concentration of solutes in preferential pathways implies a downstream declining entropy in the transverse distribution of solute transport pathways. This reflects the associated formation and downstream steepening of a concentration gradient transversal to the main flow direction. With an increasing variance of the hydraulic conductivity field, stronger transversal concentration gradients emerge, which is reflected in an even smaller entropy of the transversal distribution of transport pathways. By defining “self-organization” through a reduction in entropy (compared to its maximum), our findings suggest that a higher variance and thus randomness of the hydraulic conductivity coincides with stronger macroscale self-organization of transport pathways. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000139342
Veröffentlicht am 29.10.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Wasser und Gewässerentwicklung (IWG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1027-5606, 1607-7938
KITopen-ID: 1000139342
Erschienen in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Verlag Copernicus Publications
Band 25
Heft 10
Seiten 5337-5353
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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