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Computational and Experimental Investigation of Contaminant Plume Response to DNAPL Source Zone Architecture and Depletion in Porous and Fractured Media

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Final rept.

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Objectives Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid DNAPL source zones can contribute to long-term groundwater contamination, thus remediation and management are of high importance. In spite of efforts towards understanding the fundamental processes affecting the fate of DNAPLs spilled or released in heterogeneous unconsolidated geologic materials, it is widely recognized that few, if any, sites contaminated by DNAPLs have been remediated with respect to either dissolved contaminants contained in the aqueous phase or removal of the DNAPL source. Further, there remains a paucity of knowledge on the behavior of DNAPLs spilled in fractured geologic media. The main objectives of this research are 1 to develop computational tools for predicting aqueous-phase plume response to DNAPL source zone architecture and depletion for both porous and fractured geologic media 2 to conduct a suite of numerical experiments to investigate the relationship between DNAPL source-zone characteristics and dissolve-phase plume migration in porous and fractured media 3 to develop a stochastic information fusion SIF technology to define the DNAPL source and its characteristics by exploiting available hydraulic head and concentration data as well as signatures of stable isotope data of chlorinated solvents 4 to conduct laboratory experiments to validate the proposed computational approaches and 5 to apply the technique at a well-characterized fractured rock site at Smithville, Ontario, Canada. b. Technical Approach A data analysis environment has been developed through modification of an existing numerical model, CompFlow, to account for discrete fractures and stable isotope fractionation. Information that can be included in the data analysis environment include geologic information, well hydrographs, contaminant concentration data and isotopic signatures, and hydraulic property measurements.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Numerical Mathematics
  • Statistics and Probability

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