Coupling Flow, Heat, and Reactive Transport Modeling to Reproduce In Situ Redox Potential Evolution: Application to an Infiltration Pond

Paula Rodriguez-Escales, Carme Barba, Xavier Sanchez-Vila, Diederik Jacques, Albert Folch

Research outputpeer-review


Redox potential (Eh) measurements are widely used as indicators of the dominant reduction−oxidation reactions occurring underground. Yet, Eh data are mostly used in qualitative terms, as actual values cannot be used to distinguish uniquely the dominant redox processes at a sampling point and should therefore be combined with a detailed geochemical characterization of water samples. In this work, we have intensively characterized the redox potential of the first meter of soil in an infiltration pond recharged with river water using a set of in situ sensors measuring every 12 min during a 1 year period. This large amount of data combined with hydrogeochemical campaigns allowed developing a reactive transport model capable of reproducing the redox potential in space and time together with the site hydrochemistry. Our results showed that redox processes were mainly driven by the amount of sedimentary organic matter in the system as well as by seasonal variation of temperature. As a subsidiary result, our work emphasizes the need to use a fully coupled model of flow, heat transport, solute transport, and the geochemical reaction network to fully reproduce the Eh observations in the topsoil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12092-12101
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2020

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