Analytical Solutions for Flow Fields near Drain-and-Gate Reactive Barriers

Harald Klammler*, Kirk Hatfield, Anvar Kacimov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) are a popular technology for passive contaminant remediation in aquifers through installation of reactive materials in the pathway of a plume. Of fundamental importance are the degree of remediation inside the reactor (residence time) and the portion of groundwater intercepted by a PRB (capture width). Based on a two-dimensional conformal mapping approach (previously used in related work), the latter is studied in the present work for drain-and-gate (DG) PRBs, which may possess a collector and a distributor drain (" full" configuration) or a collector drain only (" simple" configuration). Inherent assumptions are a homogeneous unbounded aquifer with a uniform far field, in which highly permeable drains establish constant head boundaries. Solutions for aquifer flow fields in terms of the complex potential are derived, illustrated, and analyzed for doubly symmetric DG configurations and arbitrary reactor hydraulic resistance as well as ambient groundwater flow direction. A series of practitioner-friendly charts for capture width is given to assist in PRB design and optimization without requiring complex mathematics. DG PRBs are identified as more susceptible to flow divergence around the reactor than configurations using impermeable side structures (e.g., funnel-and-gate), and deployment of impermeable walls on drains is seen to mitigate this problem under certain circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-437
Number of pages11
JournalGround Water
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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