Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-435
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-435

  17 Sep 2020

17 Sep 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Geophysically-based analysis of BTCs and ion exchange processes in soil

Shany Ben Moshe1, Pauline Kessouri2, Dana Erlich1, and Alex Furman1 Shany Ben Moshe et al.
  • 1Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Haifa 32000, Israel
  • 2BRGM, French Geological Survey, 45060 Orleans, France

Abstract. Breakthrough curves (BTCs) are a valuable tool for qualitative and quantitative examination of transport patterns in porous media. Although breakthrough (BT) experiments are simple, they often require extensive sampling and multi-component chemical analysis. In this work, we examine spectral induced polarization (SIP) signals measured along a soil column during a BT experiment in a homogeneous and heterogeneous soil profiles. Soil profiles were equilibrated with an NaCl background solution and then a constant flow of CaCl2 solution was applied. SIP signature was recorded, and complementary ion analysis was performed on the collected outflow samples. Our results confirm that changes to the pore-water composition, ion exchange processes and profile heterogeneity are detectable by SIP: the real part of the conductivity-based BTCs clearly indicated the BT of the non-reactive ions as well as the retarded BT of Ca2+. The imaginary part of the conductivity-based curves reacted to the changes in ion mobility around the electrical double layer (EDL) and indicated the initiation and the termination of the Na+–Ca2+ exchange reaction. Finally, both the real and imaginary components of the complex conductivity reacted to the presence of a coarser textured layer in the heterogeneous profile.

Shany Ben Moshe et al.

 
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Shany Ben Moshe et al.

Shany Ben Moshe et al.

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Short summary
A non-invasive geophysical method (spectral induced polarization; SIP) was used to characterize and predict solute transport patterns in a soil column. Our results show that SIP-based break-through curve (BTC) analysis is superior over conventional outflow-based analysis as it can characterize system heterogeneity, and is superior over electrical conductivity-based analysis as it is capable of distinction between the adsorption end-members without the need for sampling.