Numerical Study of Heat Transfer and Contaminant Transport in an Unsaturated Porous Soil


Penetration of chemicals in the soil ground through irrigation water or rainfall induces important risks for the environment. These risks are badly known and may lead to direct contamination of the environment (atmosphere or ground water) or harmful effects on organisms living at ground level, indirectly affecting men. It is thus necessary to estimate these potential chemical risks on the environment. For that reason, the gradual change of these products (fertilizers, solutions, pollutants, ...) in the ground has been the subject of a lot of recent research works, based in particular on the study of non-saturated porous media in a theoretical, numerical or experimental way. Most of these works are incomplete and, in order to simplify the problem, they don’t take into accounts some process, which may be of prime importance under particular natural conditions. Complexity of such studies results from their multidisciplinary nature. In this communication, we study simultaneous transport of pollutant, the water that provides transport and the heat transfer in a 200 cm long cylindrical column full of sand taken as a non-saturated porous medium. We consider two kinds of conditions on the temperature at the column surface: the case of constant temperature and the case of sinusoidal temperature. We evaluate the influence of this temperature on the transfers. This study is purely numerical. We use the control volume method to determine hydrous, thermal and pollutant concentration profiles.

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Belghit, A. and Benyaich, M. (2014) Numerical Study of Heat Transfer and Contaminant Transport in an Unsaturated Porous Soil. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 1238-1247. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.613113.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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