Date of Award

2006

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Earth Sciences

Advisor

Andrew S. Reeve

Second Committee Member

Lee D. Slater

Third Committee Member

Willem Brutsaert

Abstract

A dual porosity model has been used to quantitatively evaluate the transport of chloride (CI), through two peat samples from Caribou Bog. In this study, estimates of horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity, total and effective porosity, and the matrix diffusion rate were obtained based on high-resolution (temporally and spatially), electrically measured breakthrough curves. The goals of this research were four-fold; to gather data regarding the vertical hydraulic conductivity of peats from Caribou Bog, to construct an apparatus to obtain high-resolution data of tracer transport through soil columns, to write a computer code which would model the transport of tracer through a dual porosity medium, and to use that code to evaluate physically-based transport parameters of peat samples from Caribou Bog. A matrix diffusion rate of approximately 1 x 10"4 s"1, and active porosity estimates of 0.4 to 0.6 (as opposed to measurements of total porosity of 0.8 to 0.9) produced the 'best fitting' model results. Previous studies have normally relied upon 'lumped' parameters which do not evaluate the physical or chemical processes affecting solute transport of 'conservative' tracers in peat, leading to estimated parameters which may produce good fits, but which may fall outside the range of reasonable values.

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