Breakthrough curves of Cl and 3H2O were obtained during steady unsaturated flow in five lysimeters containing an undisturbed coarse sand (Orthic Haplohumod). The experimental data were analyzed in terms of the classical two-parameter convection-dispersion equation and a four-parameter two-region type physical nonequilibrium solute transport model. Model parameters were obtained by both curve fitting and time moment analysis. The four-parameter model provided a much better fit to the data for three soil columns, but performed only slightly better for the two remaining columns. The retardation factor for Cl was about 10 % less than for 3H2O, indicating some anion exclusion. For the four-parameter model the average immobile water fraction was 0.14 and the Peclet numbers of the mobile region varied between 50 and 200. Time moments analysis proved to be a useful tool for quantifying the break through curve (BTC) although the moments were found to be sensitive to experimental scattering in the measured data at larger times. Also, fitted parameters described the experimental data better than moment generated parameter values.

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