The use of stormwater for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has become one of the most important ways to deal with water shortages and the corresponding environmental geological problems, especially in the north of China. The Fe (III) clogging of porous media is a common and significant problem that influences the effect of the infiltration rate. This paper focuses on the migration characteristics and clogging mechanisms of iron hydroxides in sand columns. The results indicate that the permeability of porous media significantly decreased at the inlet of the fine sand column and inside the coarse sand column. We demonstrated that, when the Fe (III) concentration was higher, a smaller infiltration medium size was produced more rapidly, and there was more significant clogging. More than 80% of the injected Fe (III) remained in the sand column, and more than 50% was retained within 1 cm of the column inlet. The mass retention increased with the decrease in the size of the infiltration medium particles and with the increase in the injected Fe (III) concentration. The main material that caused Fe (III) clogging was iron hydroxide colloids, which were in the form of a granular or flocculent membrane coating the quartz sand. The mechanisms of clogging and retention were blocking filtration and deep bed filtration, adsorption, and deposition, which were strongly affected by the coagulation of Fe (III) colloidal particles.
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