Investigation of consolidation-induced solute transport. II: Experimental and numerical results

Jangguen Lee, Patrick Joseph Fox

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This paper presents an experimental and numerical investigation of consolidation-induced solute transport. Diffusion and large strain consolidation tests were performed on composite specimens of kaolinite clay consisting of an upper uncontaminated layer and a lower layer contaminated with potassium bromide. Experimental measurements of effluent concentration, solute mass outflow, and final concentration profiles were obtained for a variety of initial, boundary, and loading conditions, including unload/reload. Numerical simulations were conducted using a computational model in which solute transport occurs by advection, dispersion, and sorption and is consistent with temporal and spatial variations of porosity and seepage velocity in the consolidating layer. Large strains were taken into account as well as variation of effective diffusion coefficient with porosity and nonlinear nonequilibrium sorption effects. The numerical simulations are in good to excellent agreement with the experimental measurements. Results indicate that, depending on conditions, diffusion and consolidation-induced advection can make important contributions to solute transport and mass outflow. Thus, both mechanisms should be considered for transport analyses involving soft contaminated clays undergoing large volume change. Results also indicate that nonequilibrium sorption effects were not significant for the materials and test conditions used in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number005909QGT
Pages (from-to)1239-1253
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering - ASCE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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