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J Contam Hydrol. 2001 Mar;48(1-2):89-119.

A functional relation for field-scale nonaqueous phase liquid dissolution developed using a pore network model.

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  • 1Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-2115, USA.


A pore network model with cubic chambers and rectangular tubes was used to estimate the nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) dissolution rate coefficient, Kdissai, and NAPL/water total specific interfacial area, ai. Kdissai was computed as a function of modified Peclet number (Pe') for various NAPL saturations (SN) and ai during drainage and imbibition and during dissolution without displacement. The largest contributor to ai was the interfacial area in the water-filled corners of chambers and tubes containing NAPL. When Kdissai was divided by ai, the resulting curves of dissolution coefficient, Kdiss versus Pe' suggested that an approximate value of Kdiss could be obtained as a weak function of hysteresis or SN. Spatially and temporally variable maps of Kdissai calculated using the network model were used in field-scale simulations of NAPL dissolution. These simulations were compared to simulations using a constant value of Kdissai and the empirical correlation of Powers et al. [Water Resour. Res. 30(2) (1994b) 321]. Overall, a methodology was developed for incorporating pore-scale processes into field-scale prediction of NAPL dissolution.

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