Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12838
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Title (Primary) A critical analysis of transverse dispersivity field data
Author Zech, A.; Attinger, S.; Bellin, A.; Cvetkovic, V.; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo ; Fiori, A.; Teutsch, G.; Dagan, G.
Source Titel Groundwater
Year 2019
Department CHS; GF; MET
Volume 57
Issue 4
Page From 632
Page To 639
Language englisch
Abstract Transverse dispersion, or tracer spreading orthogonal to the mean flow direction, which is relevant e.g, for quantifying bio‐degradation of contaminant plumes or mixing of reactive solutes, has been studied in the literature less than the longitudinal one. Inferring transverse dispersion coefficients from field experiments is a difficult and error‐prone task, requiring a spatial resolution of solute plumes which is not easily achievable in applications. In absence of field data, it is a questionable common practice to set transverse dispersivities as a fraction of the longitudinal one, with the ratio 1/10 being the most prevalent. We collected estimates of field‐scale transverse dispersivities from existing publications and explored possible scale relationships as guidance criteria for applications. Our investigation showed that a large number of estimates available in the literature are of low reliability and should be discarded from further analysis. The remaining reliable estimates are formation‐specific, span three orders of magnitude and do not show any clear scale‐dependence on the plume traveled distance. The ratios with the longitudinal dispersivity are also site specific and vary widely. The reliability of transverse dispersivities depends significantly on the type of field experiment and method of data analysis. In applications where transverse dispersion plays a significant role, inference of transverse dispersivities should be part of site characterization with the transverse dispersivity estimated as an independent parameter rather than related heuristically to longitudinal dispersivity.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Zech, A., Attinger, S., Bellin, A., Cvetkovic, V., Dietrich, P., Fiori, A., Teutsch, G., Dagan, G. (2019):
A critical analysis of transverse dispersivity field data
Groundwater 57 (4), 632 - 639 10.1111/gwat.12838