We present a formulation for water flow and solute transport in two-dimensional variably saturated media that accounts for the effects of the solute on water density and viscosity. The governing equations are cast in a dimensionless form that depends on six dimensionless groups of parameters. These equations are discretized in space using the Galerkin finite element formulation and integrated in time using the backward Euler scheme with mass lumping. The modified Picard method is used to linearize the water flow equation. The resulting numerical model, the MARUN model, is verified by comparison to published numerical results. It is then used to investigate beach hydraulics at seawater concentration (about 30 g l-1) in the context of nutrients delivery for bioremediation of oil spills on beaches. Numerical simulations that we conducted in a rectangular section of a hypothetical beach revealed that buoyancy in the unsaturated zone is significant in soils that are fine textured, with low anisotropy ratio, and/or exhibiting low physical dispersion. In such situations, application of dissolved nutrients to a contaminated beach in a freshwater solution is superior to their application in a seawater solution. Concentration-engendered viscosity effects were negligible with respect to concentration-engendered density effects for the cases that we considered. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Water Science and Technology