Flow of an inert solute in an heterogeneous aquifer is usually considered as dominated by large-scale advection. As a consequence, the pore-scale dispersion, i.e. the pore scale mechanism acting at scales lower than that characteristic of the heterogeneous field, is usually neglected in the computation of global quantities like the solute plume spatial moments. Here the effect of pore-scale dispersion is taken into account in order to find its influence on the longitudinal asymptotic dispersivity D-11; we examine both the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional flow cases. In the calculations, we consider the finite size of the solute initial plume, i.e. we analyze both the ergodic and the nonergodic cases. With Pe the Peclet number, defined as Pe = U lambda/D, where U, lambda, D are the mean fluid velocity, the heterogeneity characteristic length and the pore-scale dispersion coefficient respectively, we show that the infinite Peclet approximation is in most cases quite adequate, at least in the range of Peclet number usually encountered in practice (Pe > 10(2)). A noteworthy exception is when the formation log-conductivity field is highly anisotropic. In this case, pore-scale may have a significant impact on D-11,especially when the solute plume initial dimensions an not much larger than the heterogeneities' lengthscale. In all cases, D-11 appears to be more sensitive to the pore-scale dispersive mechanisms under nonergodic conditions, i.e. for plume initial size less than about 10 log-conductivity integral scales.
Fiori A (1998). On the influence of pore-scale dispersion in nonergodic transport in heterogeneous formations RID A-2321-2010. TRANSPORT IN POROUS MEDIA, 30(1), 57-73 [10.1023/A:1006548529015].