Stochastic analysis of field-scale heat advection in heterogeneous aquifers
Abstract. Owing to the analogy between the solute and heat transport processes, it can be expected that the rate of growth of the spatial second moments of the heat flux in a heterogeneous aquifer over relatively large space scales is greater than that predicted by applying the classical heat transport model. The motivation of stochastic analysis of heat transport at the field scale is therefore to quantify the enhanced growth of the field-scale second moments caused by the spatially varying specific discharge field. Within the framework of stochastic theory, an effective advection-dispersion equation containing effective parameters (namely, the macrodispersion coefficients) is developed to model the mean temperature field. The rate of growth of the field-scale spatial second moments of the mean temperature field in the principal coordinate directions is described by the macrodispersion coefficient. The variance of the temperature field is also developed to characterize the reliability to be anticipated in applying the mean heat transport model. It is found that the heterogeneity of the medium and the correlation length of the log hydraulic conductivity are important in enhancing the field-scale heat advection, while the effective thermal conductivity plays the role in reducing the field-scale heat advection.