Nonlinear sorption of organic contaminant during two‐dimensional transport in saturated sand

Sang Gil Lee, Soonjae Lee, Jae Woo Choi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Multi‐dimensional transport studies are necessary in order to better explain the fate of contaminants in groundwater. In this study, a two‐dimensional transport experiment with organic contaminants in saturated sand was conducted to investigate the migration of the organic contaminant plume in multi‐dimensional flow conditions. The transport test was conducted using toluene as a model organic contaminant in a saturated sand box under steady flow conditions. The initial plume was generated via injection at a point source. After 24 h, the plume distribution was delineated by interpolating toluene concentrations in the porewater samples. The mass centers of the toluene and the conservative tracer were almost coincident, but the size of the toluene plume was significantly reduced in longitudinal as well as transversal directions. The appropriateness of several types of sorption models were compared to describe the toluene sorption in two‐dimensional transport system using numerical modeling. Among the sorption models, the Langmuir model was found to be the most appropriate to describe the sorption of toluene during two‐dimensional transport. The results showed that two‐dimensional experiments are better than one‐dimensional column experiments in identifying the adsorption characteristics that occur during transport in saturated aquifers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1557
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 1


  • 2D sand box
  • Local equilibrium assumption
  • Non‐linear isotherm
  • Reversibility
  • Sorption
  • Toluene
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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