Percolation theory for solute transport in porous media: Geochemistry, geomorphology, and carbon cycling

Water Resources Research | Hunt and Ghanbarian [2016]

Abstract

Understanding the time-dependent scaling of chemical weathering has been a significant research goal for over a decade. A percolation theoretical treatment of nonreactive solute transport that was previously shown compatible with the scaling of chemical weathering rates is here shown to be compatible with soil formation rates, and with C and N sequestration rates in the soil as well. In this theoretical framework, the percolation backbone fractal dimensionality, which generates the long-time tail of the solute arrival time distribution, also predicts the scaling of the reaction rates, while laboratory proportionality to the fluid flow velocity translates to an analogous relevance of the vertical infiltration rate in the field. The predicted proportionality of solute transport to net infiltration generates simultaneously the variability in soil formation rates across 4 orders of magnitude of precipitation and 12 orders of magnitude of time scales.

 

Full text can be found here.

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