Diffusion vs Dispersion

In these lectures, we will focus on the idea that storage of contaminants in geologic media as a potential natural attenuation mechanism. Under this scenario, certain contaminants diffuse in low permeability media such as silt, clay, and limestone and then eventually reenter the aquifer by a process called back diffusion. Like sorption, this process is not destructive, but attenuates a contaminant plume by sequestering some of the initial loading and then slowly releases it over long time scales. You will learn about diffusion vs. dispersion, see case studies in the lab and field, learn how to sample and model this process, and hear the latest research about degradation processes associated with matrix diffusion.

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