water vapor transport in the vicinity of imbibing brines in unsaturated porous media

N. Weisbrod, M. R. Niemet, J. S. Selker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Water vapor transport in the vicinity of imbibing saline solutions was investigated in 2D chambers using a light transmission technique. Concentrated NaNO_3 solutions (brines) were applied as point sources to the surface of homogenous packs of prewetted silica sand for four different sand grades. The same solutions were applied to layered systems, where two horizontal fine layers were embedded within a coarser matrix, mimicking stratified sedimentary deposits. Water vapor transport from the residually saturated sand into the imbibing brine was observed in all sand grades and geometries. Pure water applied to sand prewetted with brine migrated into the surrounding residual brine. Water vapor stripping was found to enhance the lateral transport of brine in layered sand, where capillary barrier effects play a major role. Our observations suggest that osmotic potential and vapor density lowering in saline solutions, often neglected in predictive models, should be taken into account when predicting the transport of brines in the vadose zone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication EGS - AGU - EUG Joint Assembly, Abstracts from the meeting held in Nice, France, 6 - 11 April 2003
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003


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