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A theory for conservative solute transport, based on concepts from percolation theory, is applied directly to reactive solute transport. Chemical reactions are assumed to have reached equilibrium at the scale of an individual pore, but at larger length scales, equilibration is limited by solute transport velocities, which are not the same as fluid velocities! The results of this theory already predicted observed dispersivity values for conservative solute transport over ten orders of magnitude of length scale as well as the variation of solute arrival time distributions with medium saturation. We now show that the solute velocity predicts the time-dependence of the weathering of silicate minerals over twelve orders of magnitude of time scale, an unprecedented result. Silicate weathering is a major input in the global carbon cycle.

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Mathematics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics | Statistics and Probability


Presented at a seminar jointly hosted by the Mathematics & Statistics Department and the Physics Department at Wright State University.

From Solute Transport to Chemical Weathering