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Combined effect of capillary barrier and layered slope on water, solute and nanoparticle transfer in an unsaturated soil at lysimeter scale

Abstract : It is well recognized that colloidal nanoparticles are highly mobile in soils and can facilitate the transport of contaminants through the vadose zone. This work presents the combined effect of the capillary barrier and soil layer slope on the transport of water, bromide and nanoparticles through an unsaturated soil. Experiments were performed in a lysimeter (1 × 1 × 1.6 m3) called LUGH (Lysimeter for Urban Groundwater Hydrology). The LUGH has 15 outputs that identify the temporal and spatial evolution of water flow, solute flux and nanoparticles in relation to the soil surface conditions and the 3D system configuration. Two different soil structures were set up in the lysimeter. The first structure comprises a layer of sand (0–0.2 cm, in diameter) 35 cm thick placed horizontally above a layer of bimodal mixture also 35 cm thick to create a capillary barrier at the interface between the sand and bimodal material. The bimodal material is composed of a mixture 50% by weight of sand and gravel (0.4–1.1 cm, in diameter). The second structure, using the same amount of sand and bimodal mixture as the first structure represents an interface with a 25% slope. A 3D numerical model based on Richards equation for flow and the convection dispersion equations coupled with a mechanical module for nanoparticle trapping was developed. The results showed that under the effect of the capillary barrier, water accumulated at the interface of the two materials. The sloped structure deflects flow in contrast to the structure with zero slope. Approximately 80% of nanoparticles are retained in the lysimeter, with a greater retention at the interface of two materials. Finally, the model makes a good reproduction of physical mechanisms observed and appears to be a useful tool for identifying key processes leading to a better understanding of the effect of capillary barrier on nanoparticle transfer in an unsaturated heterogeneous soil.
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Contributor : Nathalie Lyvet Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 2:46:57 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, December 18, 2021 - 3:59:52 AM




Dieuseul Prédélus, Artur Paiva Coutinho, Laurent Lassabatère, Le Binh Bien, Thierry Winiarski, et al.. Combined effect of capillary barrier and layered slope on water, solute and nanoparticle transfer in an unsaturated soil at lysimeter scale. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Elsevier, 2015, 181, pp.69-81. ⟨10.1016/j.jconhyd.2015.06.008⟩. ⟨hal-01286213⟩



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