3 years ago

The Impact of Well-Field Configuration on Contaminant Mass Removal and Plume Persistence for Homogeneous versus Layered Systems

Zhilin Guo, Mark L. Brusseau
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of well-field hydraulics and diffusive mass-transfer constraints on mass-removal efficiency for systems comprising large groundwater contaminant plumes. A three-dimensional (3D) numerical model was used to simulate the impact of different well-field configurations on pump-and-treat mass removal for homogeneous and layered domains. Four well-field configurations were tested, Longitudinal, Distributed, Downgradient, and natural gradient (with no extraction wells). The relationship between reduction in contaminant mass discharge (CMDR) and mass removal (MR) was used as the metric to examine remediation efficiency. Systems whose CDMR-MR profiles are below the 1:1 relationship curve are associated with more efficient well-field configurations. For simulations conducted with the homogeneous domain, the CMDR-MR curves shift leftward, from convex-downward profiles for natural gradient and Longitudinal to first-order behavior for Distributed, and further leftward to a sigmoidal profile for the Downgradient well-field configuration. These results reveal the maximum potential impacts of well-field configuration on mass-removal behavior, which is attributed to mass-transfer constraints associated with regions of low flow. In contrast, for the simulations conducted with the layered domain, the CMDR-MR relationships for the different well-field configurations exhibit convex-upward profiles. The non-ideal mass-removal behavior is influenced by both well-field configuration and back diffusion associated with low-permeability units.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/hyp.11393

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