A new closed-form analytical solution to the radial transport of tracers in porous media under the influence of linear drift is presented. Specifically, the transport of tracers under convection–diffusion-dominated flow is considered. First, the radial transport equation was cast in the form of the Whittaker equation by defining a set of transformation relations. Then, linear drift was incorporated by considering a coordinate-independent scalar velocity field within the porous medium. A special case of low-intensity tracer injection where molecular diffusion controls tracer propagation but convection with linear velocity drift plays a significant role was presented and solved in Laplace space. Furthermore, a weak-form numerical solution of the nonlinear problem was obtained and used to analyse tracer concentration behaviour in a porous medium, where drift effects predominate and influence the flow pattern. Application in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes where linear drift may interfere with the flow path was also evaluated within the solution to obtain concentration profiles for different injection models. The results of the analyses indicated that the effect of linear drift on the tracer concentration profile is dependent on system heterogeneity and progressively becomes more pronounced at later times. This new solution demonstrates the necessity to consider the impact of drift on the transport of tracers, as arrival times may be significantly influenced by drift intensity.
- transport of tracers
- linear drift effect
- convection–diffusion equation
- enhanced oil recovery
- closed-form analytical solution