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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-91
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-91
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

A new criterion for determining the representative elementary volume of translucent porous media and inner contaminant

Ming Wu1,2, Jianfeng Wu2, Jichun Wu2, and Bill X. Hu1 Ming Wu et al.
  • 1Institute of Groundwater and Earth Sciences, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Surficial Geochemistry, Ministry of Education; Department of Hydrosciences, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China

Abstract. Representative elementary volume (REV) is essential to measure and quantify the effective parameters of a complex heterogeneous medium. Since previous REV estimation criteria having multiple limitations, a new criterion (χi) is proposed to estimate REV of a translucent material based on light transmission techniques. Two sandbox experiments are performed to estimate REVs of porosity, density, tortuosity and perchloroethylene (PCE) plume using multiple REV estimation criteria. In comparison with χi, previous REV estimation criteria based on the coefficient of variation (CVi), the entropy dimension (DIi) and the relative gradient error (εgi) are tested in REV quantification of translucent silica and inner PCE plume to achieve their corresponding effects. Results suggest that new criterion (χi) can effectively identify the REV in the materials, whereas the coefficient of variation (CVi) and entropy dimension (DIi) cannot. The relative gradient error (εgi) can make the REV plateau obvious, while random fluctuations make the REV plateau uneasy to identify accurately. Therefore, the new criterion is appropriate for REV estimation for the translucent materials and inner contaminant. Models are built based on Gaussian equation to simulate the distribution of REVs for media properties, which frequency of REV is dense in the middle and sparse on both sides. REV estimation of PCE plume indicates high level of porosity lead to large value of mean and standard deviation for REVs of PCE saturation (So) and PCE-water interfacial area (AOW). Fitted equations are derived for distribution of REVs for PCE plume related to dm (distances from mass center to considered point) and dI (distances from injection position to considered point). Moreover, relationships between REVs of PCE plume and So are fitted using regression analysis. Results suggest a decreasing trend appears for So-REV when So increases, while Aow-REV increases with increasing of So.

Ming Wu et al.

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Short summary
A new criterion (χi) is proposed to estimate REV of a translucent material based on light transmission techniques. This study is essential for quantitative investigation of scale effect of porous media and contaminant transformation. The fluid and contaminant migration and transform in porous media can be simulated accurately according to the REV estimation results using light transmission technique and the appropriate criterion χi.
A new criterion (χi) is proposed to estimate REV of a translucent material based on light...
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