Longitudinal Dispersion in Porous Media

A. G. Hunt and T. E. Skinner, Department of Physics, Wright State University

A long-debated topic in porous media physics is how to describe the spreading of contaminant plumes in the direction of flow. Recent work on transport properties of porous media has isolated the effects of pore size distributions (geometry) from connectivity/tortuosity (topology) on, e.g., the electrical and hydraulic conductivities by applying judiciously either percolation theory for systems near the percolation threshold (power-law scaling) or far from the percolation threshold (critical path analysis). We formulate an approach, which incorporates both aspects simultaneously. The results have yet to be compared quantitatively with experiment, although they appear to be qualitatively in agreement.