The Use of Streamline-Based Methods to Model Contaminant Transport in the Subsurface.
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Estimates of future environmental and health risk, assessment of environmental cleanup cost, and liability decisions often depend on numerical modeling of the subsurface movement of ground water and of ground-water contamination. There are two main approaches, grid point methods for example, finite element analyses and flow methods for example, particle tracking and streamline calculation. Each approach has its strengths and weaknesses for example, grid point methods are better at calculating dispersion and flow methods are better at calculating the advective movement of sharp fronts of contaminant concentration. A major drawback of grid point methods is that greater accuracy requires both smaller grid spacing and shorter time steps, resulting in unsupportable computational burdens. Streamline calculations are much faster but have been restricted to single-phase systems. Recent advances in numerical technique, motivated by petroleum recovery problems, have expanded the application of streamline methods to complex, nonlinear multi-phase flow and allow very rapid calculation and numerical solution. This paper outlines the approach and considers how these same techniques could be applied to environmental contaminant transport problems and concludes that useful potential applications exist.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Water Pollution and Control