The impact of well-field configuration on contaminant mass removal and plume persistence for homogeneous versus layered systems

Zhilin Guo, Mark L Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

A three-dimensional numerical model was used to simulate the impact of different well-field configurations on pump-and-treat mass removal efficiency for large groundwater contaminant plumes residing in homogeneous and layered domains. Four well-field configurations were tested, Longitudinal, Distributed, Downgradient, and natural gradient (with no extraction wells). The reductions in contaminant mass discharge (CMDR) as a function of mass removal (MR) were characterized to assess 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 behaviour 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 behaviour, 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 nonideal mass-removal behaviour in this case is influenced by both well-field configuration and back diffusion associated with low-permeability units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4748-4756
Number of pages9
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume31
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 30 2017

Keywords

  • back diffusion
  • groundwater contaminant plume
  • mass flux
  • plume persistence
  • pump and treat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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