Numerical analysis and centrifugal modeling of LNAPLs transport in subsurface system

Liming Hu, I. M.C. Lo, J. N. Meegoda

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7 Scopus citations


The transport of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in unsaturated soils and groundwater is an important research topic in geo-environmental engineering. In this paper, the mechanism of light NAPLs (LNAPLs) transport in subsurface system is briefly introduced and the mass transport equations, fluid flow equations and the constitutive model of relative permeability - saturation - capillary pressure are discussed. Then the numerical method is introduced to simulate the multiphase flow problems in porous media, and the tempo-spatial distribution of LNAPLs is obtained. Moreover, different boundary conditions are employed in numerical simulation to investigate its effect on transport behavior. To verify the numerical data, centrifugal tests are conducted to model the LNAPLs migration in unsaturated soils and groundwater. The calculation results are agreeable with the experimental findings of centrifugal modeling, which indicates that LNAPLs from leaking point move downwards due to gravity force, and form a high concentration zone above the capillary fringe, and then spread out laterally along the groundwater table. Some LNAPL enters groundwater system to further migrate. The combination of numerical simulation and centrifuge modeling can be a useful means to study the transport behavior of LNAPLs in subsurface system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Natural Science: Materials International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • Centrifugal modeling technique
  • Geo-environmental engineering
  • Light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs)
  • Multiphase flow
  • Numerical simulation
  • Subsurface contamination


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