NUPUS - Research Projekt "Evaporation-driven transport and precipitation of salts in porous media"

Department of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the International Research Training Group (ITRG 1938) "Non-linearities and Upscaling in Porous Media (NUPUS)" from 1st February 2012 until 31st December 2015

Project Description

Degradation of the soil productivity due to salt accumulation (salinization) is a major concern in arid, semi-arid and coastal regions. Soil salinization is an old issue but encouraged irrigation practices have been rapidly increasing its intensity and magnitude in the past few decades. Studies have shown that excess of the irrigated water contributes significantly to evaporation from the bare soil surface and therefore to the salinization. In some parts of the world soil salinity has grown so acute that the agricultural lands have been abandoned.
Evaporation salinization is mainly influenced by interaction between the flow and transport processes in the atmosphere and the porous-medium. On the atmosphere side, wind velocity, air temperature and radiation have a strong impact on evaporation. Furthermore, turbulence causes air mixing, influences the vapor transport and creates a boundary layer at the soil-atmosphere interface which indeed influences evaporation. On the porous-medium side, dissolved salt is transported under the influence of viscous forces, capillary forces, gravitational forces and advective and diffusive fluxes. The water either directly evaporates from the water-filled pores or it is transported to air due to diffusive processes. Continuous evaporation promotes salt accumulation and precipitation resulting in soil salinization.
In the scope of this work we attempt to develop a model concept capable of handling flow, transport and precipitation processes related to evaporative salinization of an unsaturated porous-medium.


Project manager

Helmig, Rainer
Pop, Iuliu Sorin
Shokri, Nima


Schmid, Karen Sophie

Research assistant

Jambhekar, Vishal Arun




02/2012 - 12/2015


International Research Training Group NUPUS

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