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A pore network model with cubic chambers and rectangular tubes was used to estimate the nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) dissolution rate coefficient, Kdissai, and NAPL/water total specific interfacial area, ai. Kdissai was computed as a function of modified Peclet number(Pe′) for various NAPL saturations (SN) and ai during drainage and imbibition and during dissolution without displacement. The largest contributor to ai was the interfacial area in the water-filled corners of chambers and tubes containing NAPL. When Kdissai was divided by ai, the resulting curves of dissolution coefficient, Kdiss versus Pe′ suggested that an approximate value of Kdiss could be obtained as a weak function of hysteresis or SN. Spatially...
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A multidisciplinary study of a crude-oil contaminated aquifer shows that the distribution of microbial physiologic types is strongly controlled by the aquifer properties and crude oil location. The microbial populations of four physiologic types were analyzed together with permeability, pore-water chemistry, nonaqueous oil content, and extractable sediment iron. Microbial data from three vertical profiles through the anaerobic portion of the contaminated aquifer clearly show areas that have progressed from iron-reduction to methanogenesis. These locations contain lower numbers of iron reducers, and increased numbers of fermenters with detectable methanogens. Methanogenic conditions exist both in the area contaminated...
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Low-permeability, non-reactive barrier walls are often used to contain contaminants in an aquifer. Rates of solute transport through such barriers are typically many orders of magnitude slower than rates through the aquifer. Nevertheless, the success of remedial actions may be sensitive to these low rates of transport. Two numerical simulation methods for representing low-permeability barriers in a finite-difference groundwater-flow and transport model were tested. In the first method, the hydraulic properties of the barrier were represented directly on grid cells and in the second method, the intercell hydraulic-conductance values were adjusted to approximate the reduction in horizontal flow, allowing use of a...
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Low-temperature calcite and opal record the past seepage of water into open fractures and lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a proposed high-level radioactive waste repository. Systematic measurements of calcite and opal coatings in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) tunnel at the proposed repository horizon are used to estimate the volume of calcite at each site of calcite and/or opal deposition. By estimating the volume of water required to precipitate the measured volumes of calcite in the unsaturated zone, seepage rates of 0.005 to 5 liters/year (l/year) are calculated at the median and 95th percentile of the measured volumes, respectively. These seepage rates...
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The use of synthesized aqueous solutions for determining experimentally derived strontium sorption isotherms of sediment was investigated as part of a study accessing strontium chemical transport properties. Batch experimental techniques were used to determine strontium sorption isotherms using synthesized aqueous solutions designed to chemically represent water from a natural aquifer with respect to major ionic character and pH. A strontium sorption isotherm for a sediment derived using a synthesized aqueous solution was found to be most comparable to an isotherm derived using natural water when the synthesized aqueous solution contained similar concentrations of calcium and magnesium. However, it is difficult...
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The scale of biogeochemical reactions was studied in a physically and chemically heterogeneous surficial Coastal Plain aquifer contaminated by a gasoline spill. The physical heterogeneity of the aquifer is manifested in two hydrologic units, a shallow local aquifer of perched water and a regional sandy aquifer. Over the studied vertical interval of 21.3 ft (6.5 m), concentrations of reactive species varied by orders of magnitude, and the impact of biodegradation was expressed to widely varying degrees. A thin (3 ft thick) section of the perched-water zone was the most contaminated; total aromatic hydrocarbons were as high as 19.4 mg/l. Hydrocarbons were degraded by microbially mediated reactions that varied over...
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The effect of particle size, mineralogy and sediment organic carbon (SOC) on sorption of tetrachlorobenzene and pentachlorobenzene was evaluated using batch-isotherm experiments on sediment particle-size and mineralogical fractions from a sand and gravel aquifer, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Concentration of SOC and sorption of chlorobenzenes increase with decreasing particle size. For a given particle size, the magnetic fraction has a higher SOC content and sorption capacity than the bulk or non-magnetic fractions. Sorption appears to be controlled by the magnetic minerals, which comprise only 5–25% of the bulk sediment. Although SOC content of the bulk sediment is <0.1%, the observed sorption of chlorobenzenes is...
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In order to gain insight into mechanisms of hexachloroethane reduction, hexa- and pentachloroethane transformation rates were measured in anaerobic groundwater samples. For samples spiked with pentachloroethane, disappearance of pentachloroethane was accompanied by tetrachloroethylene production. Transformation rates were similar in unpoisoned and in HgCl2-poisoned samples, and rates were within ±20% of predictions based on measured pH and second-order dehydrochlorination rate constants determined in clean laboratory systems, indicating that the fate of pentachloroethane in this system is dominated by abiotic reactions. No hexachloroethane transformation was observed in HgCl2-poisoned samples, whereas in unpoisoned...
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Karst aquifers are uniquely vulnerable to contamination. In the Barton Springs segment of the karstic Edwards aquifer (Texas, U.S.A.), urban contaminants such as pesticides and volatile organic compounds frequently are detected in spring base flow. To determine whether contaminant concentrations change in response to storms, and if they therefore might act as tracers of focused recharge, samples were collected from Barton Springs at closely spaced intervals following three storms. Two herbicides (atrazine and simazine), two insecticides (carbaryl and diazinon), and a solvent (tetrachloroethene) described breakthrough curves over a 1-week period following one or more storms. The breakthrough curves were decomposed...
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The biogeochemistry at the interface between sediments in a seasonally ponded wetland (slough) and an alluvial aquifer contaminated with landfill leachate was investigated to evaluate factors that can effect natural attenuation of landfill leachate contaminants in areas of groundwater/surface-water interaction. The biogeochemistry at the wetland-alluvial aquifer interface differed greatly between dry and wet conditions. During dry conditions (low water table), vertically upward discharge was focused at the center of the slough from the fringe of a landfill-derived ammonium plume in the underlying aquifer, resulting in transport of relatively low concentrations of ammonium to the slough sediments with dilution and...
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It is widely recognized that groundwater flow and solute transport in natural media are largely controlled by heterogeneities. In the last three decades, many studies have examined the effects of heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity fields on flow and transport processes, but there has been much less attention to the influence of heterogeneous porosity fields. In this study, we use porosity and particle size measurements from boreholes at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site (BHRS) to evaluate the importance of characterizing the spatial structure of porosity and grain size data for solute transport modeling. Then we develop synthetic hydraulic conductivity fields based on relatively simple measurements of porosity...
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Vertical gradients of selected chemical constituents, bacterial populations, bacterial activity and electron acceptors were investigated for an unconfined aquifer contaminated with nitrate and organic compounds on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Fifteen-port multilevel sampling devices (MLS's) were installed within the contaminant plume at the source of the contamination, and at 250 and 2100 m downgradient from the source. Depth profiles of specific conductance and dissolved oxygen at the downgradient sites exhibited vertical gradients that were both steep and inversely related. Narrow zones (2-4 m thick) of high N2O and NH4+ concentrations were also detected within the contaminant plume. A 27-fold change in bacterial...
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Using one- and two-dimensional homogeneous simulations, this paper addresses challenges associated with sensitivity analysis and parameter estimation for virus transport simulated using sorptive-reactive processes. Head, flow, and conservative- and virus-transport observations are considered. The paper examines the use of (1) observed-value weighting, (2) breakthrough-curve temporal moment observations, and (3) the significance of changes in the transport time-step size. The results suggest that (1) sensitivities using observed-value weighting are more susceptible to numerical solution variability, (2) temporal moments of the breakthrough curve are a more robust measure of sensitivity than individual conservative-transport...
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Karst aquifers display a range of geologic and geomorphic characteristics in a wide range of climatic and land-use settings; identification of transport dynamics representative of karst aquifers in general could help advance our understanding of these complex systems. To this end, nutrient, turbidity, and major ion dynamics in response to storms were compared at multiple sites in two karst aquifers with contrasting characteristics and settings: the Chalk aquifer (Eure Department, Normandy, France) and the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer (Texas, U.S.A.). The Chalk aquifer is typified by high matrix porosity, thick surficial deposits (up to 30??m thick), and agricultural land use; the Barton Springs...
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This paper evaluates the importance of seven types of parameters to virus transport: hydraulic conductivity, porosity, dispersivity, sorption rate and distribution coefficient (representing physical-chemical filtration), and in-solution and adsorbed inactivation (representing virus inactivation). The first three parameters relate to subsurface transport in general while the last four, the sorption rate, distribution coefficient, and in-solution and adsorbed inactivation rates, represent the interaction of viruses with the porous medium and their ability to persist. The importance of four types of observations to estimate the virus-transport parameters are evaluated: hydraulic heads, flow, temporal moments of conservative-transport...
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Organic liquids inadvertently spilled and then distributed in the unsaturated zone can pose a long-term threat to ground water. Many of these substances have significant volatility, and thereby establish a premise for contaminant removal from the unsaturated zone by inducing advective air-phase transport with wells screened in the unsaturated zone. In order to focus attention on the rates of mass transfer from liquid to vapour phases, sand columns were partially saturated with gasoline and vented under steady air-flow conditions. The ability of an equilibrium-based transport model to predict the hydrocarbon vapor flux from the columns implies an efficient rate of local phase transfer for reasonably high air-phase...
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An in situ bioaugmentation (BA) experiment was conducted to understand processes controlling microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE) in groundwater at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), West Trenton, NJ. In the BA experiment, an electron donor (emulsified vegetable oil and sodium lactate) and a chloro-respiring microbial consortium were injected into a well in fractured mudstone of Triassic age. Water enriched in 2H was also injected as a tracer of the BA solution, to monitor advective transport processes. The changes in concentration and the δ13C of TCE, cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE), and vinyl chloride (VC); the δ2H of water; changes in the abundance of the microbial communities; and the concentration...
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Field and microcosm observations of methanogenic phenolic compound degradation indicate that Monod kinetics governs the substrate disappearance but overestimates the observed biomass. In this paper we present modeling results from an ongoing multidisciplinary study of methanogenic biodegradation of phenolic compounds in a sand and gravel aquifer contaminated by chemicals and wastes used in wood treatment. Field disappearance rates of four phenols match those determined in batch microcosm studies previously performed by E.M. Godsy and coworkers. The degradation process appears to be at steady-state because even after a sustained influx over several decades, the contaminants still are disappearing in transport downgradient....
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This paper presents a basic study in generalized terms that originates from two needs: (1) to understand the major mechanisms involved in the mineralization of groundwater of the Great Bend Prairie aquifer of Kansas by saltwater originating from a deeper Permian bedrock formation, and (2) to develop simple, robust tools that can readily be used for local assessment and management activities in the salt-affected region. A simplified basic conceptual model is adopted, incorporating two horizontal layers of porous medium which come into contact at a specific location within the model domain. The top layer is saturated with freshwater, and the bottom layer is saturated with saltwater. The paper considers various stages...
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An extensive set of chlorine-36 (36Cl) data has been collected in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the purpose of developing and testing conceptual models of flow and transport in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at this site. At several locations, the measured values of 36Cl/Cl ratios for salts leached from rock samples are high enough to provide strong evidence that at least a small component of bomb-pulse 36Cl, fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear devices in the 1950s and 1960s, was measured, implying that some fraction of the water traveled from the ground surface through 200-300 m of unsaturated rock to the level of the ESF during the last 50 years....


map background search result map search result map Integration of stable carbon isotope, microbial community, dissolved hydrogen gas, and <sup>2</sup>H<sub>H<sub>2</sub>O</sub> tracer data to assess bioaugmentation for chlorinated ethene degradation in fractured rocks Integration of stable carbon isotope, microbial community, dissolved hydrogen gas, and <sup>2</sup>H<sub>H<sub>2</sub>O</sub> tracer data to assess bioaugmentation for chlorinated ethene degradation in fractured rocks