Single-well push-pull tracer tests have been used to characterize the extent, fate, and transport of subsurface contamination. Analytical solutions provide one alternative for interpreting test results. In this work, an exact analytical solution to two-dimensional equations describing the governing processes acting on a dissolved compound during a modified push-pull test (advection, longitudinal and transverse dispersion, first-order decay, and rate-limited sorption/partitioning in steady, divergent, and convergent flow fields) is developed. The coupling of this solution with inverse modeling to estimate aquifer parameters provides an efficient methodology for subsurface characterization. Synthetic data for single-well push-pull tests are employed to demonstrate the utility of the solution for determining (1) estimates of aquifer longitudinal and transverse dispersivities, (2) sorption distribution coefficients and rate constants, and (3) non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) saturations. Employment of the solution to estimate NAPL saturations based on partitioning and non-partitioning tracers is designed to overcome limitations of previous efforts by including rate-limited mass transfer. This solution provides a new tool for use by practitioners when interpreting single-well push-pull test results.
Water Resources Research
Huang, J., Christ, J. A., & Goltz, M. N. (2010). Analytical solutions for efficient interpretation of single-well push-pull tracer tests. Water Resources Research, 46(8), W08538. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008WR007647