This study investigates the effect of fine-scale clay drapes on tracer transport. A tracer test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded sandy units intercalated with many fine-scale clay drapes. The heterogeneous spatial distribution of the clay drapes causes a spatially variable hydraulic conductivity and sorption coefficient. A fluorescent tracer (sodium naphthionate) was injected in two injection wells and ground water was sampled and analyzed from five pumping wells. To determine (1) whether the fine-scale clay drapes have a significant effect on the measured concentrations and (2) whether application of multiple-point geostatistics can improve interpretation of tracer tests in media with complex geological heterogeneity, this tracer test is analyzed with a local three-dimensional ground-water flow and transport model in which fine-scale sedimentary heterogeneity is modeled using multiple-point geostatistics. To reduce memory needs and calculation time for the multiple-point geostatistical simulation step, this study uses the technique of direct multiple-point geostatistical simulation of edge properties. Instead of simulating pixel values, model cell edge properties indicating the presence of irregularly shaped surfaces are simulated using multiple-point geostatistical simulations. Results of a sensitivity analysis show under which conditions clay drapes have a significant effect on the concentration distribution. Calibration of the model against measured concentrations from the tracer tests reduces the uncertainty on the clay-drape parameters. The calibrated model shows which features of the breakthrough curves can be attributed to the geological heterogeneity of the aquifer and which features are caused by other processes.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2014|
- Multiple-point geostatistics
- Tracer test
- Training image