Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



This dissertation considers the proper mathematical description for the physical problem of a miscible solute undergoing longitudinal convective-dispersive transport with constant production, first-order decay, and equilibrium sorption in a porous medium. Initial and input concentrations may be any continuously differentiable functions and the mathematical system is articulated for a finite domain. This domain yields a mass balance which requires Robin (i.e., third-type) boundaries, which describe a continuous flux but a discontinuous resident-concentration. The discontinuity in the resident concentration at the outflow boundary yields an underdetermined system when the exit concentration is not experimentally measured. This is resolved by defining the unknown effluent concentration from a semi-infinite problem which satisfies a Dirichlet (i.e., first-type) condition at the origin. The solution is represented in a uniformly convergent series of real variables. The representation can be sequenced to describe any configuration of discrete reactors or approach reservoirs. Individual reacting segments are allowed to have differing lengths and transport parameters up to the complexity of the governing equation. Such discrete segments may be constructed from finitely small slices to approximate a continuous variation in any of the modeled parameters, such as velocity or diffusion. The physical phenomenon that can be described include layered hydrogeologic strata, as well as two- or three- dimensional transport when hydrodynamic properties exhibit a spatial proportionality. The large volume of antecedent literature on finite solutions for convective-dispersive transport equations grew out of the historical precedents set by Danckwerts (1953) and Wehner and Wilhelm (1956) whom made simplifying assumptions of continuous boundary concentrations. This dissertation includes the demonstration that continuous-concentration hypotheses, whether rendered as Dirichlet or homogeneous Neumann (i.e., second-type) conditions, satisfy external mass conservation yet fail to provide solutions that are internally consistent with the governing equation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

D. Dean Adrian